Am I the only one who had no idea that Lufthansa at least is in view of First class installation on some of the upcoming A350 deliveries ?!
Lufthansa’s sad prime prospect
There is no first-class product in the world that is more sentimental to me than Lufthansa’s. My desire to fly Lufthansa First Class between the USA and Germany (to visit my family) initially interested me in the points hobby, and I can’t even count how many times I’ve been lucky enough to cross the Atlantic pointed end of a Lufthansa jet.
Unfortunately, Lufthansa’s first-class footprint has been decreasing for years, and the situation is getting worse all the time:
The new business class product from Lufthansa
At this point in time, Lufthansa First Class is only available on the 747-8, and Lufthansa only has 19 of them. With eight first class seats per plane, that means we’ll never see more than 152 first class seats in Lufthansa’s fleet again … or so I thought.
Lufthansa 747-8 first class
Lufthansa installs First Class on A350-900 ?!
Maybe I lived under a rock, but I got the impression that all Lufthansa A350s are delivered in a three-cabin layout with Business Class, Premium Economy and Economy.
Lufthansa plans to launch its new business class product in 2022, which suggests to me that Lufthansa will install this new product on the upcoming A350-900 and 787-9 deliveries, as the 777-9 will now be available at the earliest Delayed at the end of 2023. Lufthansa has ordered a total of around 40 A350s, of which the airline has already taken over almost half.
Lufthansa will not pick up the 777 until the end of 2023
However, I now understand that all along Lufthansa has been planning to install First Class on some of the later-delivered A350s that could be delivered in the 2022-2023 period.
It was the first time I saw some reliable posters on FlyerTalk pointing this out. I then reached out to a knowledgeable friend who said that at least sometime before the pandemic, Lufthansa had a plan to install First Class on the A350 that was later to be delivered. He wasn’t sure about the status, and I’m not sure anyone is either.
Why should Lufthansa install First Class on the A350-900 but not on the 777-9? Well, because historically the A350s were only stationed in Munich. The only aircraft from Munich that had first class were the A340-600, and with these aircraft being canceled, Lufthansa wanted to maintain a first class product for the markets in which there is demand, such as Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco .
The Lufthansa First Class Lounge Munich
Of course, the pandemic has changed this schedule – since Lufthansa is withdrawing its A340-600 from service with immediate effect, there are no longer any first-class aircraft in Munich.
Lufthansa was incredibly excited about their plans for the upcoming A350 and 787. Incidentally, we don’t even know how many A350 or 787 will fly to Lufthansa, since the orders were intended for the Lufthansa Group and some for Austria and Switzerland are.
I’m passing this on as a rumor for now. Based on what I was told, Lufthansa was planning (or at least seriously considering) installing First Class for some of the upcoming A350 deliveries. It’s everyone’s guess if coronavirus changed that.
Although I am absolutely certain that Lufthansa has at least given serious thought to a prepandemic, I cannot give any guarantee given the pace at which things are changing in the industry.
Lufthansa has ordered more than 20 Airbus A350s
Could Lufthansa introduce a new first-class seat?
What can we expect when Lufthansa installs First Class on their A350? Well, I’m definitely assuming we’ll see something better than the current first class seat, as these planes will likely also offer Lufthansa’s new business class.
Lufthansa’s current seat in first class
Lufthansa’s new business class seat
I guess we’ll see one of two things. Perhaps Lufthansa will install something similar to the first-class product from SWISS in a 1-2-1 configuration. This would be a bit better than in Business Class, although Lufthansa First Class is ultimately all about service, both on the ground and in the air.
Swiss’ 777 First Class
Alternatively, I could see Lufthansa install a really fantastic (but not groundbreaking) new seat, maybe in a 1-1-1 configuration. So far, no airline has had fun with the A350 First Class, so maybe Lufthansa could be the first?
Although no one can guess what will happen in the end, it seems that Lufthansa is seriously considering installing First Class on some A350 deliveries a few years later. This had been the plan before the coronavirus, and the logic was that after the A340-600 retired, the airline still wanted some Munich-based aircraft to be first class.
With the pandemic, who knows what will actually happen. The Lufthansa Group has told us practically nothing about upcoming deliveries of the A350 and 787 from the interior, which airlines these aircraft will fly to at all.
Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised if Lufthansa had a change of heart and, given the early retirement of the A380 and the fact that this aircraft is still a few years away from commissioning, installs First Class on the 777-9.
Do you think Lufthansa will install First Class on some A350-900s? Could Lufthansa also have a change of heart with regard to First Class with its 777-9s?