24 FEBRUARY 2020
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One of the last major airlines to fit a Premium Economy cabin, KLM, has confirmed it will add the product to its long-haul schedules as soon as it can acquire the necessary certifications and refit its aircraft interiors.
The decision brings KLM level with its partner Air France and North Atlantic joint venture allies Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic. The Dutch carrier so far has offered what it calls an Economy Comfort option whereby passengers pay for extra legroom.
KLM has long been considered a hold-out against the trend to Premium Economy – British Airways introduced it 20 years ago – but has acted after reporting last week what it called “relatively good results” for its 2019 anniversary year.
CEO Pieter Elbers said revenues increased by 1.7%, rising to more than €11bn, a new record while the KLM Group also broke a second record by carrying more than 44m passengers – 35m for KLM and 9m for Transavia.
KLM’s operating income amounted to €853m with a margin of 7.7%, but owing to higher fuel costs and a challenging cargo market, this was lower than what was achieved in 2018.
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