Asiana opens reservations for premium economy class

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Asiana opens reservations for premium economy class

Asiana Airlines on Thursday began receiving reservations for its premium economy class to be implemented on the carrier’s new Airbus 350 in mid-May.

The 36 seats, which the airline is calling “Economy Smartium,” will have 7 to 10 centimeters (3 to 4 inches) more legroom than economy-class seats. Passengers will also be granted priority boarding and entry to the airline’s lounge at Incheon International Airport for an additional fee of 30,000 to 150,000 won ($25 to $130) depending on the route.

The seats are slightly more expensive than economy class but still much cheaper than business class seats, which generally cost at least twice the amount in coach.

Asiana’s A350 will start flying the Incheon-Osaka and Incheon-Manila routes in May. By the year’s second half, the aircraft will be used for longer flights to San Francisco and London as well.

Launched by Airbus in 2014, the A350-900 is a midsize aircraft known to be one of the most eco-friendly in the world with 25 percent higher fuel efficiency and 25 percent less carbon emissions compared to its rival Boeing 777, one of the most widely used planes for long-haul flights. The A350 can hold about 300 passengers.

Asiana Airlines plans to put four A350s into service this year and expand the fleet to 30 by 2025.

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