A couple of weeks ago we learned that Lufthansa was “reassessing” the timeline for its new business class product, which was initially announced in 2017. We now have a better sense of what to expect.
New Lufthansa business class was supposed to debut on 777-9
In November 2017 (yes, well over three years ago), Lufthansa revealed a brand new business class product. This looked like a massive improvement over Lufthansa’s current business class, as the new cabin features direct aisle access from every seat, and significantly more privacy.
Lufthansa’s new business class
There was only one slight problem… the new business class was supposed to debut on the Boeing 777-9, which at the time Lufthansa was supposed to start taking delivery of in 2020. In other words, the product was still years from becoming a reality.
Unfortunately in the meantime the Boeing 777-9 has been delayed by several years, and the first plane is now scheduled to be delivered in late 2023 at the earliest. In other words, it would be a minimum of six years from when Lufthansa announced its new business class seat, to when the first passenger would actually experience it.
Lufthansa’s Boeing 777-9
And of course I can’t bring this up without pointing out that Skytrax declared Lufthansa a 5-star airline in 2017, just weeks after it announced its new business class. Skytrax said a “key factor” in the award was Lufthansa’s announcement of a new business class. And we wonder why Skytrax has no credibility…
New Lufthansa business class now launching 2022
A couple of weeks ago @xJonNYC shared an interesting entry into service update for Lufthansa’s Boeing 777-9, as well as Lufthansa’s new business class:
“Lufthansa is among the group of launch customers for the Boeing 777-9, with delivery of the first 777-9 to Lufthansa scheduled for late 2023. It was previously planned for the first half of 2022.
The plan was to introduce the B777-9 and the new Lufthansa Business Class together, but all time schedules are currently being reassessed.”
Well, we now have a better sense of what to expect. The Lufthansa Group’s presentation about 2020 results revealed that Lufthansa now plans to launch its new business class in 2022.
As you can see, Lufthansa now plans to launch its new business class before it takes delivery of the first Boeing 777-9, so what does that mean for the airline?
Lufthansa has A350-900s and 787-9s on order. Lufthansa will resume A350-900 deliveries soon, while the airline is supposed to take delivery of its first 787-9 in late 2022. This suggests that Lufthansa plans to install its new business class product on A350s and/or 787s as of 2022.
This is exciting because it was never previously publicly confirmed that A350s or 787s would receive these new seats, so in some ways this is good news.
There has also been talk of Lufthansa looking for smaller long haul jets, so there are still questions about whether Lufthansa may swap some 777-9s for smaller aircraft, like 787-9s. That seems to be unrelated to this development right now, though.
One thing is for sure, regardless — this has to be the biggest lag between a new business class seat being announced, and it actually being introduced.
Lufthansa has Boeing 787-9s on order
Lufthansa now plans to launch its new business class product in 2022, which is ahead of the airline taking delivery of its first Boeing 777-9 in late 2023. This suggests that the airline plans to install these new seats on 787s and/or A350s. I imagine all of this remains very much subject to change, like everything in the industry nowadays.
What are you expecting in terms of Lufthansa’s new business class introduction?