airberlin commences retrofitting of all its long haul Airbus fleet with their version of enhanced economy seats called “XL”.
airberlin will include 40 XL seats on the first five rows of economy on board its 14 Airbus A330 aircrafts. These seats will feature up to 6 more inches (15cm) of pitch in a 2-4-2 configuration. The seats will retain the same 18″ width and will be identified by red headrests.
Adding extra pitch to five rows will likely result in a reduction of overall capacity by up to two rows (16 seats). Seat counts would go down from 326 to 310.
Pricing and Availability
airberlin set the upgrade price to theses seats at €79 or US$87. Economy passengers can purchased them up to four hours online or at the airport. Topbonus members can use miles to upgrade themselves to these seats at a promotional price of 10,000 miles. As a new benefit, Gold and Platinum members will gain access to them for free.
Seat availability will begin shortly and retrofitting is scheduled for completion by December 1, 2015.
Many airlines have been adding enhanced or Premium Economy products on board to attract passengers tempted to pay a little more for a bigger space. The last major airline to rollout this product was Singapore Airlines back in July 2015 (News – May 21, 2015).
By offering XL seats, airberlin can earn additional ancillary revenue while better competes with other airlines with a similar product. Follow an insight piece Experience The Skies of the Premium Economy landscape (Insight – Premium Economy Seats – August 10, 2015)
Thomas Ney, Senior Vice President Hospitality and Operations, said: “With the new XL seats, airberlin is expanding its customer-oriented service and product portfolio on long-haul routes. We’re delighted to now offer our passengers on long-haul flights even more comfort, thus further improving our Economy Class for our customers.”