A young woman sitting in an economy chair

Economy Class: Profiling Airlines Flying Out Of Australia

18 February 2015

Words by: Jason Dutton-Smith

For Australians flying overseas, it seems there's never been a wider choice of airlines to choose from. With greater competition, many airlines have responded by adding routes, increasing service, enhancing their on board product and ordering the latest new aircraft, all in the hopes of capturing a bigger slice of the Australian travel market.

Lately even Economy Class has seen its share of  enhancements. With a choice of meals, engaging personal entertainment systems and extra leg-room, airlines have been adding improvements to ensure a more comfortable ride in the back end of the plane.

Here's a profile of some of the airlines that offer the best economy class service from Australia.

Virgin Australia

With long-haul flights to both Los Angeles and Abu Dhabi, onward flights are available throughout the world on various code-share partners. Virgin Australia's B777-300ER fleet offer one of the most spacious long-haul economy class cabins in the industry.

Economy features include:

  • Seat pitch: 32inches (81cm)
  • Seat width: 18.5inches (47cm)
  • Seat recline: 6inches (15cm)
  • USB port: Every seat
  • Entertainment: Personal TV screen at every seat
  • Frequent Flyer partners: Own program with alliance with Etihad, Delta, Singapore Airlines and Air New Zealand

Qantas

Qantas flies to points throughout Asia, Dubai, London, South Africa, and North and South America with worldwide connections available on oneworld and other alliance member airlines. The flagship Airbus A380 aircraft is primarily used along with the A330 and Boeing 747.

Economy features include:

  • Seat pitch: 31inches (78cm)
  • Seat width: 17.5inches (44cm)
  • Seat recline: 6inches (15cm)
  • USB port: Every seat
  • Entertainment: Personal TV screen at every seat
  • Frequent Flyer partners: Member oneworld and alliance with Emirates

Emirates

Emirates serve most capital cities with multiple services per day to Dubai, Bangkok and Singapore. From Dubai, Emirates expand across the globe with a mixture of A380, B777 and A330 aircraft. An alliance with Qantas allow for domestic connections.

Economy features include:

  • Seat pitch: 32inches (81cm)
  • Seat width: 17inches (43cm)
  • Seat recline: 6inches (15cm)
  • USB port: Every seat
  • Entertainment: Personal TV screen at every seat
  • Frequent Flyer partners: own program including alliance with Qantas

Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways operates a mixture of A330, B777 and the new A380 aircraft to Abu Dhabi and cities around the world.  The Residence is touted as the world's most luxurious first class flying experience, exclusively available onboard Etihad's A380. An alliance with Virgin Australia allow for domestic destinations.

Economy features include:

  • Seat pitch: 31-33inches (78-83cm)
  • Seat width: 18inches (45cm)
  • Seat recline: 6inches (15cm)
  • USB port: Every seat
  • Entertainment: Personal TV screen at every seat
  • Frequent Flyer partners: Own program including alliance with Virgin Australia

Singapore Airlines

With the exception of Hobart, Singapore Airlines flies between every capitol city in Australia. Fly to Singapore with onward connections to Europe, Africa, North America and multiple points throughout Asia. Aircraft utilised is a mixture of A330, B777, A380 and B747.

Economy features include:

  • Seat pitch: 32inches (81cm)
  • Seat width: 18inches (45cm)
  • Seat recline: 25 degrees
  • USB port: Every seat
  • Entertainment: Personal TV screen at every seat
  • Frequent Flyer partners: Member of Star Alliance

Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand flies from most capital cities between Australia and New Zealand and provides convenient connections to North America, London, Asia and South Pacific destinations. The economy cabin features the world-first 'Sky Couch', a revolutionary design that transforms three abreast economy seating into a sofa or bed like arrangement.

Economy features include:

  • Seat pitch: 33inches (83cm)
  • Seat width: 17.1inches (43cm)
  • Seat recline: 6inches (15cm)
  • USB port: Every seat
  • Entertainment: Personal TV screen at every seat
  • Frequent Flyer partners: Member of Star Alliance

Malaysia Airlines

Flights available from most capital cities to Kuala Lumpur connecting to Asia, United Kingdom, Europe, Africa and Middle East. Aircraft utilised include B777 and A330 with their new flagship A380 to be soon introduced.

Economy features include:

  • Seat pitch: 34inches (86cm)
  • Seat width: 18inches (45cm)
  • Seat recline: 7inches (17cm)
  • USB port: Every seat
  • Entertainment: Personal TV screen at every seat
  • Frequent Flyer partners: Member of oneworld

Thai Airways International

Flying between Australia and its main hub in Bangkok, Thai Airways International has a large route network extending throughout Asia, Europe, North America, Africa and the Middle East. Generous legroom is matched with attentive service.

Economy features include:

  • Seat pitch: 34inches (86cm)
  • Seat width: 18inches (45cm)
  • Seat recline: 7inches (17cm)
  • USB port: Every seat
  • Entertainment: Personal TV screen at every seat
  • Frequent Flyer partners: Member of Star Alliance

Cathay Pacific

As Hong Kong's flag ship carrier, Cathay Pacific flies to most Australian capital cities with a modern fleet of A330 and B777 aircraft. From Hong Kong, Cathay's reach extends throughout Asia, Europe, United Kingdom, Africa, Middle East and North America.

Economy features include:

  • Seat pitch: 32inches (81cm)
  • Seat width: 17.5inches (44cm)
  • Seat recline: 4inches (10cm)
  • USB port: Every seat
  • Entertainment: Personal TV screen at every seat
  • Frequent Flyer partners: Member of oneworld
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