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5 Benefits of Premium Economy

Recently, Premium Economy has become increasingly popular amongst travellers. Touted as the ‘sweet spot between luxury and affordability’, an increasing number of airlines have started offering Premium Economy cabins onboard their aircraft.

First conceptualised in the 1990s by Taiwanese Carrier Eva Air, the Premium Economy Cabin then was named ‘Evergreen Class’. It offered an exclusive cabin, with seats arranged in a significantly more spacious 2-4-2 configuration. Located at the front of the Boeing 747, those seats were popular among travellers who were after a slightly larger legroom. Food was also presented more elegantly on china tableware, instead of plastic casseroles.

Since then, the Premium Economy products offered by airlines have underwent drastic improvements. Let’s take a look at the current benefits of Premium Economy Cabins.

  1. Enhanced Comfort

Premium Economy offers a noticeably wider seat compared to the standard Economy. With wider seats and larger legroom, this gives passengers ample space for them to stretch out, therefore ensuring a comfortable and more relaxed journey. Premium Economy would have approximately 38 inches of legroom, compared to the average of 31 inches in standard Economy. Furthermore, features like adjustable leg rests, shoulder lights and even noise-cancelling headphones are offered onboard. On some airlines, there are amenity kits offered, with the eye-mask and slippers helping to ensure passengers’ get a good rest onboard the aircraft.

  1. Improved Dining Experience 

The main part which sets Premium Economy apart from standard Economy would be its enhanced dining experience. There are multiple improvements, such as Welcome Drinks, larger selection of beverages, meals served in porcelain dishware with metal cutlery and even the ability to pre-book your meal from a wider selection of menus. One such example would be Singapore Airlines’ ‘Book The Cook’ where passengers would be able to choose from a wide selection of main courses, up to 24 hours before the flight. These improvements would enable passengers to personalise their journeys, together with ensuring the travel experience still feels ‘premium’. The improvement in dishware is definitely noticeable, where meals are usually served in plastic casseroles in economy.

  1. Priority Handling and Treatment

Premium Economy passengers could also expect priority treatment during their journey. From a dedicated counter for priority check in, boarding and baggage handling, those are perks which would definitely differentiate Premium Economy from standard Economy. For instance, Virgin Atlantic offers 2 checked bags up to 23 Kilograms, with Priority Baggage Handling. Priority Boarding and a dedicated line for Premium Economy passengers for check-in. This is in stark contrast to Economy, where passengers are charged $75 for the first check-in bag, and $100 for the second check-in bag.

  1. Greater degree of privacy 

Due to the Premium Economy seats requiring a slightly larger space, this would result in there being lesser passengers being around you. Furthermore, having a reduced number of seat neighbours would also lead to a greater degree of privacy. Furthermore, airlines would usually separate Premium Economy cabins from standard Economy cabins, therefore also ensuring a feeling of privacy in the already small cabin. For Singapore Airlines’ Premium Economy Cabin on the A350-900ULR, there are also ‘Solo Seats’ located at the back of the cabin, further improving on the ‘private’ feel of the seats.

  1. Snack bars and Inflight Entertainment

One of the biggest features of Premium Economy for some airlines would be the offering of a dedicated snack bar. Airlines like Virgin Atlantic offer a snack bar in their galley, where passengers would be able to help themselves to snacks and drinks throughout the flight. For some airlines, snacks would be available on demand instead, with passengers being able to request specific snacks from the cabin crew. Meanwhile, the In-flight entertainment screen would be significantly larger compared to economy, therefore ensuring customers to comfortably enjoy their choice of shows on the wider screens. JAL provides a 16 Inch monitor for Premium Economy passengers, compared to the standard 11.6 inch monitor screen in Economy.

Enjie is currently an aviation journalist at Jetline Marvel, focusing primarily on covering topics regarding Sustainable Air Travel. Being highly passionate about the aviation industry, he showcases his talents by working together with various stakeholders in the industry.

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Aerospace

Pakistan’s Ambitious Plan to Acquire and Produce Chinese FC-31 Stealth Fighter

Pakistan’s Ambitious Plan to Acquire and Produce Chinese FC-31 Stealth Fighter

Pakistan is embarking on an ambitious endeavor to bolster its air defense capabilities with the acquisition and potential local production of the Chinese FC-31 stealth fighter jet.

Talks are reportedly underway between the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation, the developer of the FC-31, signaling a significant leap forward for Pakistan’s military aviation prowess.

The FC-31, a mid-sized, twin-engine fifth-generation fighter, promises advanced air combat capabilities, including stealth technology that surpasses anything currently in the PAF‘s fleet. With plans to retire the JF-17 production line by 2030, the FC-31 could emerge as the new flagship aircraft, offering unmatched performance and versatility.

Experts speculate that Pakistan’s interest in the FC-31 could also signal broader implications for the international market. As China develops both land and carrier versions of the FC-31, analysts foresee it becoming a cost-effective alternative to pricier options like the F-35, potentially challenging the dominance of the US aerospace industry and reshaping global strategic rivalries.

Adding complexity to the deal is China’s push for the WS-13 engine, previously rejected for the JF-17 but now under consideration for both the FC-31 and future JF-17 variants. Engine standardization could streamline logistical and maintenance processes for the PAF, further enhancing the appeal of the FC-31.

While negotiations continue, the success of the FC-31 acquisition and local production hinges on several factors, including the outcome of the WS-13 engine discussions. Pakistan’s pursuit of the FC-31 comes amidst its eagerness to replace its aging fleet, with previous attempts to upgrade its F-16s by the United States due to geopolitical pressures.

Amidst these developments, Pakistan previous interest in the Turkish-made Kaan fifth-generation fighter underscores its eagerness to replace its aging fleet. Despite previous attempts to secure upgrades for its F-16s from the United States, Pakistan’s quest for advanced aerial capabilities has led it to explore alternative avenues, with the FC-31 emerging as a promising contender in its pursuit of air superiority.

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Aviation

China’s Indigenous HH-100 UAS Successfully Completes First Flight

China’s Indigenous HH-100 UAS Successfully Completes First Flight

In a significant milestone for China’s aviation industry, the HH-100 aerial commercial unmanned transportation system successfully completed its maiden flight, as announced by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) on Wednesday.

The HH-100 demonstrator took to the skies for its inaugural flight at a general aviation airport in Xi’an, located in northwest China’s Shaanxi Province. This successful test was conducted by AVIC, China’s leading aircraft manufacturer, marking a pivotal step in the development of the country’s unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) capabilities.

Developed independently by AVIC XAC Commercial Aircraft Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of AVIC based in Xi’an, the HH-100 consists of two main components: an unmanned aerial vehicle and a ground-based command-and-control station. This innovative system is designed to offer a cost-effective, high-payload solution for various transportation and logistical needs.

The HH-100 is notable for its low cost and large tonnage capabilities. With a designed maximum take-off weight of 2,000 kilograms and a payload capacity of 700 kilograms, it can transport approximately 4 cubic meters of cargo over a range of 520 kilometers. The drone’s maximum cruise speed is 300 kilometers per hour, and it can operate at altitudes up to 5,000 meters.

Primarily intended for feeder logistics, the HH-100 is also equipped to participate in a variety of other roles, including forest and grassland firefighting, fire monitoring, transportation and delivery of rescue materials, relay communication, and artificial rain enhancement. This versatility makes it a valuable asset in both commercial and emergency response operations.

Looking ahead, AVIC plans to develop a series of products based on the HH-100 platform, with models capable of carrying 5 tons, 10 tons, and even larger payloads. These future developments aim to meet the growing demand for large-scale, intelligent, low-cost, and highly reliable unmanned cargo planes.

The HH-100’s successful first flight marks an important achievement for AVIC and China’s aviation sector, showcasing the potential of homegrown technology to advance the country’s capabilities in unmanned aerial transportation. With its impressive range of features and applications, the HH-100 is poised to play a significant role in enhancing air-ground transportation connectivity and addressing various logistical challenges in the region.

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Aviation

Russia’s Venture into Spare Parts Production for Western-Made Jets

Russia's Venture into Spare Parts Production for Western-Made Jets

In a strategic move to mitigate the challenges posed by the shortage of spare parts for foreign-made passenger aircraft, Russian carriers are charting a new course by turning to domestic alternatives. At the forefront of this shift are two groundbreaking projects unveiled at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on June 6.

Leading the charge is Protektor Group, a prominent Russian MRO provider, which has committed a substantial investment of RUB3.5 billion ($39 million) to establish a cutting-edge facility near Moscow Domodedovo airport.

This facility is slated to specialize in the production of spare parts tailored for Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 narrowbody jets, with operations expected to commence in 2026. With a projected workforce of 800 employees, the facility aims to address the pressing demand for critical components in the aviation sector.

This initiative aligns seamlessly with broader governmental endeavors outlined in June 2022, which envisioned the manufacture of 1,036 airplanes using solely Russian parts by 2030. Bolstering this ambition, the state allocated a substantial sum of 283 billion rubles (U.S. $3.1 billion) in January 2024 to propel the production of 609 aircraft, with a particular emphasis on medium-haul models.

Protektor’s trajectory towards this pivotal milestone has been marked by notable achievements, including receiving production organization approval from Rosaviatsia in 2024. Prior to this, the company had earned certification for the overhaul of landing gear for Boeing 737s, solidifying its position as a trusted entity in aircraft maintenance.

Beyond the realm of spare parts production, the Russian aviation industry is poised for a significant transformation as it gears up to redefine its identity. Sergey Chemezov, the head of Rostec, the state-owned conglomerate overseeing aerospace, engineering, and defense sectors, has unveiled ambitious plans to resurrect the renowned ‘Yakovlev‘ brand. This rebranding initiative extends across the spectrum of Russian-made airliners, signaling a new era of innovation and prominence.

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