Lufthansa To Install New Business Class In 2020

Filed Under: Lufthansa

As much as I love Lufthansa first class, I’ll be the first to admit that the rest of their cabins aren’t up to the same caliber. Lufthansa’s old business class was especially bad, while their new business class is still sub-par compared to the other new products out there.

In September Lufthansa finished installing their “new” business class throughout their longhaul fleet, which consists of fully flat seats. These seats don’t all feature direct aisle access, and are quite a bit behind the curve, in my opinion.

Lufthansa’s business class

They started installing these seats as other airlines already had reverse herringbone seats in business class, which are considerably better.

While Austrian and Swiss are also part of the “Lufthansa family,” their seats are different than what Lufthansa offers.

Austrian and Swiss both have a staggered product. Both airlines have the same “bones” in their seats, though the finishes are different.

Austrian’s business class

Swiss’ business class

Meanwhile Swiss will be introducing a new business class product on their 777-300ERs, which they’ll shortly be commencing passenger service on. It actually seems to be quite similar to their current product, with some added privacy.

Swiss’ new 777 business class

Swiss’ new 777 business class

While it’s a ways off, apparently Austrian, Lufthansa, and Swiss will be introducing a new business class product in 2020. The product will be the same between all three airlines, and will debut when Lufthansa takes delivery of their first 777-9X.

Via AusBT:

Lufthansa will introduce an all-new business class seat with the launch of its Boeing 777-9 in 2020, with the same seat also being rolled out on the Swiss and Austrian Airlines fleets.

The move towards a unified business class design across all three sibling airlines is intended to both lower costs and provide a more consistent passenger experience, especially on codeshare flights.

“We’re starting to design it now” Lufthansa Chairman and CEO Carsten Spohr (below) told Australian Business Traveller at this week’s meeting of Star Alliance airlines in Chicago.

“Technically it will be the same seat – but when it comes to seat covers and the design of the cabin, I see an upside in being different and maintaining diversity on our aircraft, because we are not one brand.”

Bottom line

It seems sort of smart for Austrian, Lufthansa, and Swiss to all have the same business class seat long term. They can still have their unique “finishes” and differing soft products, but they’ll be able to invest more in having the best product possible, and can hopefully also get a better deal on the production costs. Here’s to hoping it’s an actually decent product, though, given that none of the three airlines offer among my favorite hard products as of now.

Too bad it’s another five years before we’ll even begin to see this new product…

  1. Honestly, I think direct aisle access can be a bit overrated, especially if you aren’t traveling alone. The staggered product is very claustrophobic, and putting your feet deep into that well is a bit odd and coffin-like. If you are traveling alone, of course direct aisle access is paramount, but if you are traveling as a couple or as friends (as many people do now in business seeing as business doesn’t just cater to businessmen anymore), LH’s seats are fantastic, and actually very comfortable (at least the ones that face // and not /\).

  2. Theoretically the arrangement of LX and OS business class seats is quite like the old economy seat on ANA which is a 2-4-3 configuration. Though it may have more storage space, I’d rather snap a seat on the rather least favoured BA club world seat on this blog.

  3. … it’s about time … it really was a poor investment to install the current LH product when everyone else, including their subsidiaries LX and OS, was moving to direct aisle access.

    @Keith: I’m doing 130 flights per year for business … over the last 10+ years … and I don’t remember ever travelling with my partner. So direct aisle access is an asset for me …

  4. I think the assessment of a seat layout can really change depending of if you are traveling alone or with friends/family. I agree that the layout is not the best if you are traveling solo. However my partner and I flew the LH 748 last year from FRA to LAX and loved it. It was comfortable, we could talk, and the footsie issue was irrelevant. Some layouts are too isolating for my taste when you are traveling with friends or family.

  5. LH is so behind the curve, and this news just emphasized it further.

    5 yrs down the road? By that time, the design they have now will be outdated!

    If they hv a new n competitive design, they shld roll out now n we shld see them in the next 12 months and not after 5 yrs.

    Perhaps they shld not cut they F class in their fleet so much… since their J is really behind time.. all the time.

  6. 2020! If going to wait longer than congress to enact a climate protocol why not pick the seat style then?

  7. I’m with Keith, On longhauls, direct aisle access is overrated. Half of the time I’m travelling with a partner and it is better to sit with them than in a separated pod. The other half, you can pick an aisle middle seat if you really want access and nobody stepping over you.

  8. It’s safe to say most airlines will be installing a new business class product in 2020. It took how long for LH to install the latest business class seat? If they start now they’ll be finished just in time for 2020 😉

  9. @ daniel — Direct aisle access isn’t just about personally having direct access to the aisle, but also about not having anyone climbing over you, typically disturbing you when you sleep.

  10. As I said 2/3 of the seats have direct aisle access. When travelling alone, you can always choose D or G. We always travel together, so climbing is not an issue. I rather have 2-2-2 than the staggered design, where my wife and the kids are far away.

  11. Oh god, please let Swiss or Austrian decide on that new Business Class and not Lufthansa. From what they presented as “Business” so far, I can only expect another underwhelming product. #SaveSwissBusiness

    PS: I’ll give them a chance though.

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