Lufthansa Boeing 747-8s Getting New Cabins

Lufthansa Boeing 747-8s Getting New Cabins

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A few days ago Lufthansa revealed 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 on Airbus A350-900s and Boeing 787-9s in mid-2023, and will eventually be installed on existing aircraft from those fleets. 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?

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:

  • A340-600s have only been brought back temporarily, to operate flights out of Munich with first class until Lufthansa’s A350-900s with first class are delivered
  • Lufthansa will bring back A380s in 2023, but the plan is only for it to be temporary, so don’t expect a huge cabin investment
  • A330-300s and A340-300s will likely eventually be retired, 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 we shouldn’t expect the planes to be around for more than a few years, so they certainly won’t be reconfigured
Don’t expect Lufthansa A380s to get new cabins

Lufthansa 747-8s will get new first & business class

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).

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 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. 😉

Lufthansa Boeing 747-8s are getting new cabins

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.

I would assume that first class will continue to be in the nose. 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 first class Boeing 747-8

Lufthansa’s new first class looks like a huge upgrade over the old product, so I can’t help but wonder if the airline can maintain the same number of seats, or what exactly a new cabin configuration would look like? Admittedly the current renderings of the new first class are limited, but I can’t imagine the airline could install the same number of seats.

New Lufthansa first class

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).

Korean Air first class Boeing 747-8

I suppose the other possibility is that first class moves to the upper deck and would be in a 1-1 configuration, but I also don’t see that happening, given that it would be even less practical for business class to be in the nose.

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.

New Lufthansa business class

However, how on earth 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.

Lufthansa business class Boeing 747-8

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.

New Lufthansa premium economy

Bottom line

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.

Furthermore, I can’t help but wonder about the logistics of this project. Will first class continue to be in the nose? Will business class continue to partly be on the upper deck, if that even possible? How will seat counts change?

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!

What’s your take on the logistics of Lufthansa reconfiguring Boeing 747-8s with new cabins?

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  1. Mark Guest

    Will the 747-8's still be flying in 2023? We have a trip planed around thanksgiving and we had hoped to be able to fly on one of the 747-8s for at least one leg of our trip from Orlando to Europe.

  2. Steve Guest

    "I feel like it’s a race between these planes being reconfigured, and me being eligible for Social Security."

    Ha!

  3. Ilyes Guest

    Hi there,
    I guess the new premium eco is the new business class on mh aircrafts.

  4. Robert Guest

    Lufthansa is the worst airline in Europe, bad reputation with service

  5. paul p. Guest

    47 better than 2 engines

  6. Edward Guest

    When Delta flew 744s, the upper deck was business with a 1-1 config. The nose was business, too, with the first row 1-1, with 1-2-1 for the rest. I don't see why LH couldn't put first still in the nose or on the upper deck in 1-1 configurations.

    1. LEo Diamond

      Delta only got 14 upstairs on the 744, while LH currently have 22 seats in the same space,,,,

  7. Speedbird Guest

    I doubt we will see F return to the upper deck for this reason: I spoke with a Lufthansa employee about this. The reason LH did the Seat+Bed config upstairs had a lot to do with the fact that the 747-400 upper deck could not support the weight of the new flat bed seats. If that cabin was too heavy for the upper deck, there is no way this one will fit. I would love to be proven wrong though. A 1-0 configuration would be extremely cool too

  8. James Guest

    I predict at least 6 F class on upper deck - J is brought forward to nose section + behind door 1 and before door 2 - then Prem Economy is mid cabin over the wing and Economy remains from door 3 to the rear of the fuselage. Given LF had has F upstairs before this could be the return of that in a 1-1 config.

  9. MildMidwesterner Gold

    The old Cathay Pacific 747s had business class on the upper deck in a herringbone pattern. The seats didn't have doors, however, so many readers of OMAAT might have confused the cabin for a cargo compartment ;)

  10. Eskimo Guest

    @OMAAT

    "There’s simply no way to introduce a staggered product with direct aisle access for each passenger here."
    Why?
    Maybe a bit over exaggerated but isn't staggered seats, a pair that is 50% adjacent?
    Upper deck shouldn't have a problem with 1-1 staggered.

    They can't fit First upper deck because less practical for business class to be in the nose?
    1-1
    1-1-1
    1-1-1 (maybe even 1-2-1)
    Can't stagger...

    @OMAAT

    "There’s simply no way to introduce a staggered product with direct aisle access for each passenger here."
    Why?
    Maybe a bit over exaggerated but isn't staggered seats, a pair that is 50% adjacent?
    Upper deck shouldn't have a problem with 1-1 staggered.

    They can't fit First upper deck because less practical for business class to be in the nose?
    1-1
    1-1-1
    1-1-1 (maybe even 1-2-1)
    Can't stagger that? Remove the closet, redo the galley and you might even be able to add another pair.

  11. Frederik Guest

    Lucky,

    As I have said before regarding first class location, I think both nose and upper deck are unlikely.

    I think this layout most likely for the redesign:
    https://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Air_China/Air_China_Boeing_747-8.php

    1. Jordan Gold

      The Chinese do not care about prestige or perception, and went with this awful config. LH will not do this. Perception is important to LH.

    2. Frederik Guest

      The Chinese do not care about Prestige or Perception? Haha is this a joke?

    3. Mangiafica Guest

      The Chinese are literally the poster children for obsessive prestige & perfection lmao.

  12. exfa Guest

    why not put economy up there in 3-3 config

  13. Endy Guest

    AirFrance had all economy on the upper deck and then business, premium and economy on the lower deck. That could be an alternative for LH

  14. AnishReddi Member

    Why can't they do a 1-1 stagger, no centre section. If it's as wide as a narrowbody they should have the space

    1. LEo Diamond

      And they can remove the side bin as well as that can be part of the console of the seat.

  15. LEo Diamond

    Couldn't LH instead create another Business class base upon Apex Suites with Doors instead?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ LEo -- I can't imagine Lufthansa is looking to create yet another new business class product. For that matter, keep in mind that while the Apex Suite is awesome for passengers, it's not a very efficient configuration in terms of space utilization.

  16. LEo Diamond

    LH could just full Y upstairs. Keep the F in the nose, still with 8 seats by slightly shortening the gallery. For the J, they can dump the staggering design and go 1-2-1 all along.

    1. Creditcrunch Diamond

      Or in the forward part of the upper deck Premium Economy then Y behind

    2. LEo Diamond

      Having 2-2 upstairs is not ideal for efficiency while having 2-3 for PY, needing to cross two seats from window to aisle is hell for passengers. Full MCE upstairs will be the best way to go, as LH can charge a premium seat assignment fee for being upstairs with better legroom and a smaller cabin. 2-4-2 is the way to go for PY.

  17. InceptionCat New Member

    I think First will be in the upper deck. Remember the previous LH first with a bed and seat was in the upper deck of the 747. Installing First in the upper deck makes most sense.

    6 suites in a 1-1 configuration and a mini business cabin with doors or 2-3rows of PE look very likely for the upper deck.

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AnishReddi Member

Why can't they do a 1-1 stagger, no centre section. If it's as wide as a narrowbody they should have the space

3
James Guest

I predict at least 6 F class on upper deck - J is brought forward to nose section + behind door 1 and before door 2 - then Prem Economy is mid cabin over the wing and Economy remains from door 3 to the rear of the fuselage. Given LF had has F upstairs before this could be the return of that in a 1-1 config.

1
Jordan Gold

The Chinese do not care about prestige or perception, and went with this awful config. LH will not do this. Perception is important to LH.

1
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