Air France-KLM sure is sharing lots of details about the future of its premium cabins. We’ve learned about Air France’s new business class with doors (coming this summer), Air France’s new first class suite (coming in late 2023 or early 2024), and KLM’s new business class with doors (coming in 2023).
Now we’ve learned the details of KLM’s new premium economy cabin, which will debut this summer.
Details of KLM premium economy experience
Premium economy has become an increasingly popular cabin in recent years, especially among European long haul airlines. While Air France has been installing premium economy on most long haul planes, KLM hasn’t… until now.
The timing here makes sense, since Air France-KLM, Delta, and Virgin Atlantic have a transatlantic joint venture. Delta has been aggressively installing premium economy as well, so it’s logical for KLM to do the same, so that the transatlantic business can more easily sell premium economy fares.
KLM has unveiled the details of its newly introduced premium economy cabin, which will be branded as Premium Comfort. The seats were designed by Collins Aerospace, and it’s noted how they’re lighter than previous versions of the seat. Usually that wouldn’t be great news in terms of comfort, but I guess we’ll see once there are some firsthand reports.
Here are some of the key features of KLM’s premium economy experience:
- Premium economy will be installed on 777s and 787s, and the cabin will feature 21-28 seats; on the 787 the cabin will be in a 2-3-2 configuration, while on the 777 the cabin will be in a 2-4-2 configuration
- Premium economy will feature 38″ of seat pitch and 8″ of recline (compared to 31″ of seat pitch and 5-7″ of recline in economy)
- Premium economy will offer better entertainment and connectivity, including a 13.3″ personal screen (compared to 9-11″ in economy), and both USB and 110v outlets (compared to just USB outlets in economy)
- Premium economy will offer priority services, including SkyPriority check-in and boarding and an extra baggage allowance
- Premium economy will feature improved inflight amenities, including noise canceling headphones, an amenity kit, and better meals and drinks than you’ll find in economy
Below are some pictures of KLM’s new premium economy cabin. It’s always hard to know what to make of seats based on these media images, since I imagine they intentionally don’t choose very large passengers. My first impression is that the seats look a bit above average for premium economy. The only quirk is the location of the outlets.
How KLM is reconfiguring planes with premium economy
The timeline for KLM rolling out premium economy isn’t entirely clear. It’s stated that KLM will first offer premium economy to North America, and that customers will be able to book premium economy “to a growing range of destinations from the end of the July 2022.” That doesn’t necessarily tell us a whole lot about when planes will actually be in service with the new cabin.
KLM has also shared how seating capacity will change on each aircraft type as premium economy is installed:
- The Boeing 787-10 will see an overall reduction of 26 seats; economy will lose 66 seats, while there will be 28 premium economy seats and 12 additional extra legroom economy seats
- The Boeing 787-9 will see an overall reduction of 19 seats; economy will lose 40 seats, while there will be 21 premium economy seats
- The Boeing 777-300 will see an overall reduction of 27 seats; economy will lose 68 seats, while there will be 24 premium economy seats, one additional business class seat, and 16 additional extra legroom economy seats
- The Boeing 777-200 will see an overall reduction of 32 seats; economy will lose 71 seats, while there will be 24 premium economy seats, one additional business class seat, and 14 additional extra legroom economy seats
Since KLM plans to introduce a new business class product on 777s as of 2023, my guess is that we’ll see 787s reconfigured first, and then 777s will likely be reconfigured next year, when the business class is due to be launched as well. I could be wrong, but that’s what makes the most sense to me.
KLM has finally revealed the details of its new premium economy, which should be installed on Boeing 777 and 787 aircraft in the near future. Premium economy is no doubt becoming increasingly popular, and it’s logical that KLM will finally offer this cabin, since Air France has had it for years.
KLM premium economy passengers can expect more spacious seats, priority services, and better amenities, including improved food and drinks. KLM’s new premium economy looks good, though frankly I have a hard time getting too excited about airlines introducing these cabins, since they almost always look very similar. It’s not like business class, where you see airlines take wildly different directions.
What do you make of KLM’s new premium economy cabin?