19 MAY 2014
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Singapore Airlines plans to launch a Premium Economy service in the second half of 2015, after years of resisting the move due to concerns it would reduce the appeal of its Business Class seats.
The airline, facing growing competition from Middle Eastern carriers and more resistance by companies to allow Business Class travel, said it would initially roll the service out on its medium and long haul routes.
"The market has matured in Premium Economy and we think it is right for us now to embark on this," Mak Swee Wah, head of the airline's commercial activities, told reporters and analysts at a briefing.
He said that the target market would be a mixture of business and leisure travellers seeking more legroom than is available in standard Economy.
The Premium Economy concept was originally introduced by Virgin Atlantic (as Super Economy) and is now offered by more than 40 airlines including Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airways, which launched its service in 2012.
Singapore Airlines had until now opted to stay focused on Business and First Class, which make up around 40% of its revenue. But a drop in demand for high-end travel preceded the new service. Last year it ended its non-stop Business Class only flight between Singapore and New York as it was no longer financially viable. www.singaporeair.com
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