Lufthansa has this week revealed more details about its new “Allegris” product generation, whereby we’re seeing refreshed seats in all cabins. In particular, this includes a new first class suite, as well as a new business class product.
The Allegris experience will debut in 2023 on select newly delivered Boeing 787-9s, and then in 2024 on select newly delivered Airbus A350-900s. Existing A350s should also eventually be reconfigured with these cabins. Furthermore, the product will be installed on Lufthansa’s Boeing 777-9s, due to be delivered in 2025 and beyond. However, what happens to Lufthansa’s other aircraft? Well, we now have some more details…
Many Lufthansa planes won’t get new first & business class
First let’s start with the bad news. Among Lufthansa’s existing long haul aircraft, there aren’t plans to introduce the new product on Airbus A330s, Airbus A340s, Airbus A380s, or Boeing 747-400s:
- Lufthansa has brought back A340-600s temporarily, to operate flights out of Munich with first class until Lufthansa’s A350-900s with first class are delivered
- Lufthansa is bringing back Airbus A380s this summer, though there are no firm plans to install new cabins on these jets, at least as of now
- Lufthansa A340-300s will eventually be retired, while A330-300s will likely eventually leave Lufthansa’s fleet (and maybe be used by Eurowings Discover), so there aren’t plans to invest in these cabins beyond the current generation business class
- Lufthansa has only a small subfleet of 747-400s remaining, and they’re expected to be retired in the coming years, so won’t be reconfigured
Lufthansa 747-8s will get new first & business class
As reported by Executive Traveller, the good news is that Lufthansa has plans to retrofit its Boeing 747-8 fleet with all-new cabins. Lufthansa has 19 of these jets, and they’re an average of well under 10 years old.
While other airlines are largely retiring Boeing 747s, Lufthansa was one of the few airlines to order the updated 747-8, and it seems the carrier is committed to keeping these planes around. They’re an average of well under 10 years old, so they’re still quite young.
Also keep in mind that Lufthansa is obviously committed to these jets because they’re all based in Frankfurt, and they’re the only planes based at the airport to feature first class. Lufthansa also plans to base its Boeing 777-9s in Frankfurt (if/when delivery happens), but those planes won’t feature first class (I can’t help but wonder if Lufthansa might reconsider that decision). Lufthansa Group has now also ordered Airbus A350-1000s, and those are expected to feature first class, but we don’t know anything beyond that.
What remains to be seen is with what timeline 747-8s will be reconfigured, as that hasn’t yet been revealed. Based on the fact that it has been over five years since Lufthansa first announced its new business class, I feel like it’s a race between these planes being reconfigured, and me being eligible for Social Security. 😉
How will Lufthansa’s revised Boeing 747-8 configuration work?
While we know Lufthansa’s Boeing 747-8s are getting new cabins, what we don’t know is exactly how they’ll be reconfigured. The 747 is a tricky plane when it comes to installing cabins, given the curvature of the “nose,” plus the upper deck, which is significantly narrower than the lower deck.
Lufthansa will reportedly continue to have first class in the nose of the 747-8, though the airline will have a modified product compared to what’s on the A350, given space constraints. Lufthansa currently has eight first class seats on the 747-8, with three seats along the windows on each side, plus two seats in the center.
Lufthansa’s new first class looks like a huge upgrade over the old product. On the A350, there will be a total of just four first class suites that will be able to accommodate up to four travelers — there will be two single suites by the windows, and a double suite in the center.
For context, Korean Air also flies the 747-8, and has just six seats in first class, in a 1-1 configuration (there are no center seats).
I’m not sure how exactly Lufthansa will go about doing this, but I’m sure the airline can fit at least six suites in this space. Then again, since there will be a modified first class product on the 747, it’s hard to make an educated guess at this point.
Then that brings us to business class, which seems equally challenging. Installing it on the lower deck is super easy, since the 747 lower deck cabin is even wider than the A350 or 787 cabin, so there will be room to spare.
However, how do you install this on the upper deck of the 747-8? The upper deck is somewhere between a wide body and narrow body in terms of width, and you have a single aisle. There’s simply no way to introduce a staggered product with direct aisle access for each passenger here.
The only thing I can think of is that Lufthansa moves premium economy to the upper deck, and instead installs business class exclusively on the lower deck. However, this would have to represent a massive increase in the footprint of premium economy.
Lufthansa has 32 business class seats on the upper deck, while Lufthansa currently has 32 premium economy seats on the lower deck. Lufthansa would presumably have to nearly double the size of the premium economy cabin for that to work. Otherwise, I suppose the airline could install a mix of premium economy and economy on the upper deck, but at some point this all seems overly complicated.
Then again, the Allegris product overall seems complicated, given that the airline is promoting seven different kinds of business class seats.
Lufthansa’s Boeing 747-8s will be getting the new Allegris cabins, which is exciting. However, we don’t know the timeline with which that will happen.
It’s expected that the planes will feature a modified first class product, given the space constraints in the nose of the 747. Then there’s the challenge of installing the new business class on the upper deck, which might just be the biggest challenge of all, given that it’s fairly narrow and has a single aisle.
There are a lot more questions than answers as of now, though as a Boeing 747 lover, I can’t wait to see the jumbo get new interiors! Then again, I imagine it’ll be several years before the first plane is reconfigured.
What’s your take on the logistics of Lufthansa reconfiguring Boeing 747-8s with new cabins?
I honestly don't think it matters what they do if their crews and food keep being so miserable. I had the worst food I've ever tasted in my life in LH business on the 747-8 upper deck EWR-FRA, and the flight attendants were downright hateful in their attitude towards passengers. I thought maybe it was a one-off 2021 pandemic experience, but a quick search shows this is the norm for their crews since then. Their...
I honestly don't think it matters what they do if their crews and food keep being so miserable. I had the worst food I've ever tasted in my life in LH business on the 747-8 upper deck EWR-FRA, and the flight attendants were downright hateful in their attitude towards passengers. I thought maybe it was a one-off 2021 pandemic experience, but a quick search shows this is the norm for their crews since then. Their crews do a disservice to what should be an amazing experience on the historical and majestic 747. The other issue I had was they ran the heat full blast the whole time. I know it's cold at 35,000 feet, but I can't do anything to cool down and get comfortable when it's 85+ degrees Fahrenheit inside. The point being it really doesn't matter what they do if they don't figure out some way to straighten out their crews and food.
With that said, I hope they put the first and business on the upper deck. Then business for a smaller portion of the lower deck followed by more premium economy. Even flying in business on United's old 747 upper deck was a much more enjoyable experience than flying on LH's relatively new 747-8 business. I think that was pre Continental merger so it was probably a happier airline then. I actively avoid Lufthansa now to fly on legacy American airlines' 777s/787s/A350s, which isn't how it used to be. I'll try to catch Singapore's JFK-FRA A380 when I can work it in instead. I just wish another European airline that gave more of a damn than Lufthansa had 747s instead. Unfortunately thanks to Delta and United being the only flight to places like Berlin, I sometimes get stuck on their legacy 767s, but the 767 was actually nicer than the LH 747 too. I just know to avoid them on the return TATLs since I don't particularly enjoy visiting Goose Bay or Gander.
I heard that LH will squeeze in 98 Eco seats in the uper deckmof the 747/8. Not much space for handluggage there. And one toilet will be removed. We‘m see…
If KE can make the apex suite work on the upper deck of a 748, not sure why a stagger seat can work
I just flew LH J on the a340-300 across the atlantic and earlier this month on AA’s PEY for a similar distance route and dare I say my LH experience was so uncomfortable and plane so old it may be a toss up which I would choose in the future. The lie flat obviously tips the scale but the fact i’m comparing those products is mind blowing
Well, I expected Lufthansa to install the first class in the upper deck (4-5x 1-1 config) and bringing the Business back in the nose (like in the B744 where the Business is in the nose & upperdeck)... But first class in the nose could also be an alternative (similar to nowadays, 3x rows single-seat at the windows and one double suite in the middle. Let's see what happens, I'm excited :)
I had the same thought. Although the Premium Economy upper deck makes some sense as well
LH should explore putting the F upstairs again. They could have the large 'middle' suite on one side and the regular on the other, or do the 'separate bed' config again with the new seats JAL and QF are using.
Luckily for me they fly these birds to IAH. Now I have to save my nuggets to experience these new seats.
The 747 upper deck is much closer to the width of a narrowbody. South African used to have 3-3 economy seating up there ... I think the aisle was a bit wider than typical narrowbody width, but not by a lot.
Other airlines have typically installed business class on the upper deck using whatever was on the "outboard" sections of their downstairs business class, with the middle block of seats removed. So I imagine LH could do something similar here fairly efficiently.
The last years of the Air France 747s were for the longhaul leisure routes (Caribbean and Indian Ocean, mainly) and economy seats (3-3) on the upper deck.
I'd think you could have some sort of staggered 1-1 upstairs, but a larger premium economy section up there could also be a possibility: it is apparently now the most profitable class of service at many airlines (higher revenue relative to area than business class with lower service costs).
To add to this, Virgin Atlantic used to have 2-2 Premium Economy (ahead of the exit door) and 3-3 Economy on the 747 Upper Deck, so it’s a possibility that LH will do something like this. Or maybe 1-1 J and 2-2 W.
Absolutely. Spot on.
I reckon for the business cabin, they will still install it on the upper-deck but just split that Allegris business cabin in half in the middle to accommodate it with the two seats in the middle with the opening towards the left aisle also having their openings to the right instead. If you look at the seats they have and how they're arranged it's totally possible.
Hi Ben, just to include the information from the latest LH press release from today: There is currently no plan to retire the A330-300 (nor the A380). The 747-400, A340, A330-200, 777-200 and 767 will be retired in the mid-term.
I imagine that the A330-300 will be transferred to 4Y to fly leisure routes, where passengers don't mind the 2-2-2 layout.
Cannot agree with the statement that leisure passengers “wouldn’t mind” the inferior 2-2-2 layout. Leisure passengers have a lot of flexibility of carrier selection and it is very easy to avoid LH’s outdated, overpriced, and highly overrated airline. Competition matters, a lot.
Yes and no. When American rolls out flagship suites, many aircraft won't be reconfigured. The people flying DFW-HNL will be happy to have a lie flat (older product) while the business travel heavy market tends to be the one that requires the best product forward like DFW-LHR or similar where they will deploy the suites
@AA70 - big difference between the current AA J product 1-2-1 cabin and the LH 2-2-2 cabin. Frankly, the door isn’t a game changer.
I have a feeling that LH will install a similar F product to KE, keep J on the lower deck, and install PE on the upper deck. It would be a much larger footprint, but it would match the every increasing demand for PE, and make the cabin feel more exclusive. Honestly, the only way LH could install J on an upper deck would be in a 1-1 config, which would be an extreme waste of space.
While this is a good solution, there is a certain exclusivity and caché that comes with the upper deck that should be enjoyed by passengers paying the most. Why sit downstairs when you can go upstairs?
The separate seat and bedin first on the 744 upper deck was the pinnacle in my opinion
Having flown Turkish Business, QSuites, and Emirates First in the A380, nothing has topped LH First on the upper deck in the 744. I was privileged enough to fly it three times, once to Tehran, and a round trip from Vancouver. I have yet to find a more polished crew at any airline. This was years ago, and every LH Business flight I have had has been outstandingly mediocre, so who knows what it's like now.
Recently had the opportunity to fly LH F twice on the 748. First crew was pretty lackluster. Second crew was awesome, and the captain came down before pushback and had a short conversation with all 6 pax onboard.
First crew was a bit on the elder side of things, but the younger purser was their saving grace.
It's still outstandingly mediocre! Flew upstairs on their 744 this summer YVR-FRA and one flight attendant was fairly good, and the other was very unhappy to be alive or so it seemed. It's just not the LH that I remember, though a couple glasses of good riesling later it didn't matter because I was out solid