Coming Soon: Lufthansa Boeing 787 With New Business Class

Coming Soon: Lufthansa Boeing 787 With New Business Class

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Lufthansa should soon(ish) be taking delivery of its first Boeing 787, which is a pretty exciting milestone for the airline, as this will eventually become a significant portion of the carrier’s long haul fleet. This plane will also feature yet another new type of interim long haul business class product. Let’s go over what we know so far.

Lufthansa has 32 Boeing 787-9s on order

In the past few years, Lufthansa has ordered dozens of new long haul aircraft from both Airbus and Boeing. These are all Lufthansa Group orders, which is to say that some planes are likely to go to Austrian and SWISS, though we don’t yet know that exact breakdown.

Lufthansa currently has a total of 32 Boeing 787-9s and an additional 26 Airbus A350-900s on order (in addition to the carrier’s current A350-900 fleet). Furthermore, Lufthansa also has 20 Boeing 777-9s on order, though those planes are now delayed until 2025 at the earliest.

While most of the A350 and 787 orders are for “factory fresh” planes, Lufthansa also opportunistically picked up some planes intended for other airlines:

  • Lufthansa picked up four former Philippine Airlines Airbus A350-900s; the airline was in bankruptcy protection and wanted to get rid of some long haul jets, so presumably Lufthansa got a great deal on these planes
  • Lufthansa picked up five Boeing 787-9s that had already been manufactured and were intended for other airlines; specifically, these are planes that were initially intended for China’s Hainan Airlines, and then intended for India’s Vistara Arlines, before eventually being purchased by Lufthansa

Lufthansa has provided an update about its first Boeing 787 entering service. The plane with the registration code D-ABPA will be Lufthansa’s first 787-9, and it will be named “Berlin.” It will hopefully be delivered to Lufthansa this summer, once the FAA allows 787 deliveries to be resumed.

Once delivered, the plane will have “several weeks” of planned cabin refurbishments at Lufthansa’s maintenance facility in Frankfurt. The plane will then be deployed on domestic German routes for training purposes, before starting long haul flights. The first planned long haul destination is Toronto.

The timeline has slipped quite a bit here, since originally Lufthansa was supposed to take delivery of this plane in 2021. Personally I wouldn’t expect to see this plane entering service before late 2022, since Boeing continues to have rolling delays with 787 deliveries.

Lufthansa Boeing 787-9

Lufthansa’s new interim Boeing 787 business class

In 2017, Lufthansa revealed its new business class product, which still isn’t actually available on any planes. The product was initially supposed to debut on Boeing 777-9s, but with that plane now delayed by a minimum of five years, that’s not exactly going as planned.

Currently the plan is for Lufthansa to start installing this new business class product on A350s and 787s as of mid-2023,

Lufthansa’s new business class product

So, what should we expect from the five Boeing 787s that Lufthansa takes delivery of in the coming months, which were intended for other airlines? Lufthansa is promising “an improved cabin product, including direct aisle access for all guests in business class.”

Since these planes were initially intended for Hainan Airlines, I think it’s highly likely that these 787s will have the Safran Cirrus reverse herringbone seats that Hainan intended to have on these planes, presumably just with new cabin finishes (meaning more blue than red).

Hainan’s Boeing 787-9 business class

This is of course a massive improvement over Lufthansa’s current standard business class product, which is in a 2-2-2 configuration.

Lufthansa’s current Boeing 787 business class

While this will be a great improvement, it’s interesting that Lufthansa will have product inconsistency in long haul business class. Keep in mind that Lufthansa’s newly acquired A350s also feature yet another new business class, inherited from Philippine Airlines. These are staggered Vantage XL seats, also featuring direct aisle access.

Lufthansa’s new interim A350 business class

Isn’t it interesting how Lufthansa is a Skytrax 5-star airline, yet seemingly the only way it can improve its business class product is by “inheriting” premium products from other airlines?

#5Starhansa

Bottom line

Lufthansa will be taking delivery of its first Boeing 787-9 in the coming months. Since the first five jets were initially intended for other airlines (including Hainan Airlines), you can expect that Lufthansa will just keep the original interiors intended for these planes. In this case, you can expect a reverse herringbone configuration in business class, which will be the second interim business class product that Lufthansa is introducing this year.

In 2023 you can expect Lufthansa to launch its new business class product that was announced back in 2017, on newly delivered A350s and 787s.

What do you make of Lufthansa’s upcoming Boeing 787 deliveries?

Conversations (18)
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  1. Liki Guest

    For past years only negative experience with Lufthansa, 5*? Really? Blacklisted

  2. Steven E Guest

    It sure is a hodge podge of different products - you never know what you’re going to get

  3. Watson Gold

    One Skytrax star for each business class cabin they operate!

  4. Andy Diamond

    Replacing the legacy 2-2-2 Business product would imply that the current management has mad mistakes. The current CEO has been in senior management positions of LH "Passage" (the passenger airline part of LH) since 1995, i.e. for almost 30 years. The implementation of the legacy product started in 2011, exactly the year Spohr became head of "Passage" ...

  5. Steve Guest

    @Razzak Memon

    Is this. Enter than AA business class seats

    1. Watson Gold

      Did you know that both he and his wife are CK?

  6. Tom Guest

    @Ben: Look on the bright side of this inconsistency: More business class products for you to review

  7. Syd Guest

    Say what you will about business class, skytrax and inconsistency, but a 787 in LH livery looks pretty dope!

    1. Dominic Guest

      That does look pretty good. Not sure if I'd fly with them just for that, though. I have had a few "less than great" experiences with Lufthansa lately.

  8. sri Guest

    It does not matter what Lufthansa plans in the future with its business class seats when currently they cordon off economy seats and label them as business seats on some of its flights lasting 3 hrs or more.

  9. Christian Guest

    Last minute equipment changes are gonna be a nightmare.

  10. Daniel Guest

    I wonder on the new business class if they will still be discriminating against a certain group of people like they have before and have for almost 100 years now?

    1. Regis Guest

      Which group and what do they do that indicates to you they discriminate re this group?

    2. Rob Guest

      For 100 years in the 69 years they've existed so far?

    3. Daniel Guest

      Both of you posters know I was referring to the German government and the German people as a whole I have a very Jewish last name very very Jewish so to speak several years ago I was in Frankfurt airport he would not let me into the business class lounge I was the United medium one at the time I don't know what it was called but one step under executive Platinum where you were...

      Both of you posters know I was referring to the German government and the German people as a whole I have a very Jewish last name very very Jewish so to speak several years ago I was in Frankfurt airport he would not let me into the business class lounge I was the United medium one at the time I don't know what it was called but one step under executive Platinum where you were to receive lounge benefits I didn't have my card with me but I had a boarding pass driver's license passport the whole nine yards and he wouldn't let me in the lounge he claimed that I would fake the boarding pass to get into the lounge and he said all you Jews are always causing trouble we should have wiped all of you out well I got 60 members of my family on both of my Dad's mothers and Father's side so I guess they did partly what they wanted to do

  11. ConcordeBoy Diamond

    Maybe I'm just Pollyanna, but there does appear to be some good that can come out of this:
    LH will no doubt get a ton of feedback on each of the individual cabins; maybe that will help it tweak what it wants its official hard product to be, in the long run, once some consistency is achieved.

    Then again, that's likely going to take a half decade or more.... :(

    1. John Guest

      You're not Pollyanna. You're ConcordePerson. Please stay focused on the topic and restrain that wild 'newbie' enthusiasm.

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Rob Guest

For 100 years in the 69 years they've existed so far?

4
ConcordeBoy Diamond

Maybe I'm just Pollyanna, but there does appear to be some good that can come out of this: LH will no doubt get a ton of feedback on each of the individual cabins; maybe that will help it tweak what it wants its official hard product to be, in the long run, once some consistency is achieved. Then again, that's likely going to take a half decade or more.... :(

3
Syd Guest

Say what you will about business class, skytrax and inconsistency, but a 787 in LH livery looks pretty dope!

1
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