NEWS: KLM new business class and premium economy, Virgin abandons Havana and two new W hotels for Italy


KLM B777

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KLM new business class and premium economy

KLM has unveiled its new Premium Comfort class which is essentially Premium Economy. Depending on the type of aircraft, the capacity of the Premium Comfort class will vary from 21 to 28 seats. The seats will be wider than the standard seats and will offer more legroom, a larger screen and a footrest. Premium Comfort seats also recline farther than Economy Class seats.

Boet Kreiken, Executive Vice President of KLM Customer Experience, said: “We have high expectations for this new Premium Comfort class, based on extensive market research. The new class will meet the wishes of both business and leisure passengers, strengthening KLM’s position as a global network carrier offering an attractive and varied range: World Business Class, Premium Comfort and Economy Class. It also reaffirms our partnership with Delta Air Lines, Air France and Virgin Atlantic on North Atlantic routes, where we can now combine all products on all routes.

Restoration

Premium Comfort will also have improved economy restoration. On intercontinental flights, one or two hot meals will be served, depending on the duration of the flight. There will always be a choice of meat, fish or vegetarian dishes. After the meal, passengers will be offered coffee, tea, liqueurs and ice cream. A variety of snacks and cocktails will also be served between meals, many of which will be selected from those previously popular in business class.

Service

At the airport, baggage and SkyPriority privileges will be increased, including preferential check-in and boarding.

The first aircraft equipped with the Premium Comfort class will operate on routes to North America. It is expected that passengers will be able to book Premium Comfort to a growing range of destinations from the end of July 2022. All of their B787s and B777s are expected to be remodeled for the new seats with the last aircraft completed by the end of 2023.

This graph shows the differences between the classes:

Global business class

KLM B787-9 business class seats

It was also revealed during a presentation this week that KLM will be introducing doors on its new business class seats. The design has yet to be properly revealed, but it appears to be their current B787-9 seats with the addition of a door.

The seats are expected to be deployed on B777-200 and -300 aircraft from 2023.

Virgin Atlantic Havana Ditch

Vintage classic American car in Havana, Cuba

Virgin Atlantic was due to resume three times weekly flights to Havana on November 1, which was only announced fairly recently. They have now turned around and decided they will not restart their service to Havana and have no plans to do so next year at this time.

A spokesperson said,

“As we emerge from the pandemic, we have had to make careful decisions regarding our network, with regular review of flight and holiday schedules. We are disappointed to confirm that due to the unique complexity of Cuban operations, we have made the difficult decision to withdraw the start-up projects from the London Heathrow – Havana services.

“Affected customers will be contacted from this weekend to advise them of the cancellations and their options, including a travel voucher or a full refund of their canceled flight or vacation package. Those who have booked through a third party such as a travel agent should contact them directly for their options.

“We sincerely apologize for disrupting customers’ plans to visit this vibrant and much-loved leisure destination. In recent years, Virgin Atlantic has operated the only direct scheduled flights from the UK to Havana, working closely with valued partners in Cuba.We will keep options under review to return to this unique part of the Caribbean in the future.

There are currently no other airlines offering non-stop flights between the UK and Cuba. There are however a number of other indirect options with a stopover such as Iberia via Madrid, Air Europa via Madrid or Air France via Paris.

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