Due to what it describes as "surging passenger demand", Virgin Atlantic is fitting its entire fleet of Boeing 747s at Heathrow airport with more premium economy seats.

With its Airbus planes already offering the class, more premium economy seats are set to be available on all of the airline's 747s by Christmas.

Virgin Atlantic commenced its premium economy offering in 1992 and saw a 56 per cent increase in the number of passengers using the class between 2000 and 2005.

The operator has seen a 20 per cent increase in premium economy customers in the last ten months alone, following a recent £12 million revamp of its services.

Steve Ridgway, Virgin Atlantic chief executive, said: "Having completed the refit across the Airbus fleet, we are delighted that this product exceeded our expectations and has resulted in a 20 per cent growth in our premium economy passengers.

"This is a clear indication that we are streets ahead of our competitors and in order to seize further market share from our competitors we have decided to increase our capacity in premium economy on our Heathrow 747 aircraft."

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Virgin Atlantic Expands Premium Economy Class