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SWISS Begins Installing its New Premium Economy Class on its Airbus A340-300 Fleet

The new class of cabin can be enjoyed on the carrier's routes from Zurich to Johannesburg, Hong Kong, or Chicago

by Fergus Cole

January 26, 2023

SWISS Premium Economy Seat / Photo: Courtesy of Swiss International Air Lines

Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) has begun retrofitting its fleet of Airbus A340-300s with its new Premium Economy Class interiors.

The first SWISS aircraft to have the newly-designed cabin installed—flight LX282—took off from Zurich at 10:40 p.m. local time on Tuesday and made a ten-and-a-half-hour journey to Johannesburg (JNB).

The national flag carrier of Switzerland expects to have all four of its A340-300s upgraded with the new cabins by April this year. Other routes expected to be operated by the fleet include SWISS’s long-haul routes from Zurich to Hong Kong (HKG) and Chicago (ORD).

SWISS’s fleet of A340-300s is expected to be in service until 2025 when they are set to be replaced by Airbus A350-900s.

The new Premium Economy seats have already been launched on other aircraft, having first been used on a SWISS flight between Zurich and Miami (MIA) in March last year. That route used a Boeing 777-300ER, and SWISS’s entire fleet of twelve of those aircraft has now had the updated cabins installed.

Premium Economy entertainment / Photo: Courtesy of Swiss International Air Lines

SWISS’s Premium Economy cabins feature ZIMprivacy seats—state-of-the-art, reclinable airplane seats with generous under-seat storage space and large tables ideal for business travelers needing to work on the go. Manufactured by ZIM, they feature fabrics from local textile manufacturer Lantal, as well as a 15.6-inch, latest-generation in-flight entertainment screen. They also come with noise-reducing headphones, integrated privacy shields, adjustable armrests, and a personal reading light.

As well as more comfortable seats, SWISS Premium Economy passengers can also choose from a wider selection of inflight meals, snacks, and beverages, including an alcohol-free welcome drink prior to take-off. Guests will have a choice of three hot meals with dishes inspired by Swiss cuisine. Premium Economy customers can also expect extra service perks, such as a streamlined boarding process and double the baggage allowance (2 x 23 kg / 50 lbs.) compared to travelers in SWISS Economy.

Premium Economy inflight meal / Photo: Courtesy of Swiss International Air Lines

“Our new Premium Economy Class has rapidly established itself as a hugely popular way of travel,” said Tamur Goudarzi Pour, Chief Commercial Officer at SWISS. “And the highly positive feedback that we’ve received from our customers—on the greater seating comfort, the enhanced service, the wider choice of meals and the quality of the food – has only strengthened our resolve to offer this top-quality product on more of our routes.”

Other carriers in the Lufthansa Group, of which SWISS is a member, are expected to install the ZIMprivacy seats on their aircraft. This includes Lufthansa itself, which will be installing the new seats on its Boeing 747-8 aircraft, its 787-9s, and its Airbus A350s as they are delivered.