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Which Airline Was First to Launch Premium Economy in 1992?

Aviation website Runway Girl Network has stumbled across a hiccup in their research that they’re looking for help from knowledgeable readers to solve:

One of the most intriguing mysteries in the history of modern passenger experience is which airline first designed premium economy: EVA Air or Virgin Atlantic. Both can lay claim to having created the comfort canyon-bridging product that is now some of the most profitable space on modern long-haul aircraft.

The year is certain: 1992, when both airlines can show announcements of premium economy, then called Economy Deluxe and Mid Class, respectively, but only one retains enough archive documentation to show when it took delivery of the first aircraft with premium economy, and when it launched the product into service.

Staffers from both airlines delved deep into the archives for proof.

EVA Air could find documents (a press release) confirming its hard launch of its first premium economy product: “Economy Deluxe,” on its Boeing 747-400 aircraft on 12 December 1992.

Virgin Atlantic could point to a newsletter in April 1992 promising a Virgin Atlantic Mid Class product coming on 4 July 1992 but they couldn’t scrounge up documents to confirm that this was the date of the launch.

If any FlyerTalk members have proof of the launch date of the Virgin Atlantic Mid Class product, you can help end the debate by emailing [email protected] or Tweeting @thatjohn.


For more on this story head to Runway Girl Network.

[Image: Virgin Atlantic]

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