Lufthansa Installing First Class Suites On Airbus A350s

Lufthansa Installing First Class Suites On Airbus A350s

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We’ve known for quite some time that Lufthansa plans to install first class on select Airbus A350s in the future. I wanted to provide an update on the latest regarding these plans, especially as we now have some new details about what to expect from the product.

Lufthansa’s current first class fleet

There’s not a first class product in the world that’s more sentimental to me than Lufthansa’s. My desire to fly Lufthansa first class between the USA and Germany (in order to visit family) is what got me interested in the points hobby to begin with, and I can’t even count how many times I’ve been lucky enough to cross the Atlantic in the pointy-end of a Lufthansa jet.

Unfortunately Lufthansa’s first class footprint has been decreasing for years now:

Lufthansa’s new business class product

At this point Lufthansa’s first class footprint is limited to:

  • The carrier’s 19 Boeing 747-8s, which are based in Frankfurt
  • The carrier’s five Airbus A340-600s, which are based in Munich; these planes are only temporarily flying so the airline can continue to offer first class out of Munich, but the planes are expected to be retired in 2023
Lufthansa’s 747-8 first class

Lufthansa A350-900s will get first class

Lufthansa has a long-term plan to offer first class out of Munich, by installing first class on select A350s:

  • Lufthansa will take delivery of at least 10 Airbus A350-900s that will feature first class
  • Lufthansa will take delivery of its first Airbus A350-900 with first class in the summer of 2023
  • All 10 of these A350s will be based in Munich

Why would Lufthansa install first class on A350-900s, but not 777-9s? Well, because to keep things simple the plan is to base all 777-9s in Frankfurt, while A350-900s will be based in Munich.

Lufthansa plans to base 777-9s in Frankfurt

Clearly there’s demand for first class out of Munich, in particular for markets like Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco, among others. So installing first class on some A350s based in Munich is the best way for the airline to be able to continue offering first class from this hub.

The logic for all of this makes perfect sense, especially when you consider the pre-pandemic timeline. A340-600s were supposed to have a bit more life left in them, letting Lufthansa gradually transition from A340-600s to A350-900s.

The Lufthansa First Class Lounge Munich

Lufthansa has lots of Airbus A350s and Boeing 787s on order, and the airline plans to start installing its new business class product on these planes as of 2023. My guess is that some of Lufthansa’s first planes with the new business class will also feature first class.

Lufthansa has plenty of A350s on order

Lufthansa will introduce first class suites with doors

What exactly should we expect from Lufthansa’s new A350 first class? Lufthansa hasn’t officially revealed much, though I think we’re all hoping to see something better than the current first class seat. While I love Lufthansa’s current first class, it’s not exactly a cutting edge product, especially when you consider that these planes should also feature Lufthansa’s new business class.

Lufthansa’s current first class seat

There’s now an update on that front, which at least reassures us that there is a new product coming. @xJonNYC notes that at a recent event Lufthansa had a banner that said “Future Intercont Experience First Class,” and underneath that it said “Fully closable suites,” with a picture of curtains.

https://twitter.com/xJonNYC/status/1524794854626234368

Now, it’s anyone’s guess if these suites will actually be fully enclosed floor-to-ceiling, as you otherwise only find in Emirates’ new 777 first class and Air France’s 777 first class. Personally I wouldn’t necessarily take the curtains in the picture literally.

Air France has curtains in first class, offering true privacy

Or perhaps Lufthansa just means that there will be a privacy door, like you’ll find with so many products. We haven’t really seen any airline get particularly innovative with first class on the A350 so far. That’s probably partly because the fuselage is a bit narrower than some other wide body aircraft. So if you want four seats per row, there are limits to what you can install.

It’s my understanding that Lufthansa plans to install only a single row of first class seats on A350s, so it should be a pretty intimate cabin. That means there will likely be just three or four seats. That’s exciting in terms of the exclusivity of the cabin, but not exciting in terms of award availability.

Qantas has plans to install a really cool first class product on A350s that will be used for “Project Sunrise” flights. While I’m not expecting anything that nice from Lufthansa, it at least gives some hope that an A350 could have a solid first class product. For that matter, Air France is also planning a small first class cabin for some upcoming A350s, and I imagine that will be nice as well.

Qantas’ planned A350 first class suite

Bottom line

Lufthansa will install first class on at least 10 upcoming Airbus A350-900 deliveries, which will join the carrier’s fleet as of 2023. The first class cabin is expected to be quite intimate, with just a single row of seats.

The logic here is that Lufthansa’s Munich based aircraft with first class cabins have historically been the Airbus A340-600s, but those planes are going to be retired soon. There’s still a market for first class in Munich, so Lufthansa needs to have some planes with first class. That’s where the future delivery Airbus A350-900s come into play.

The A350s that get the new first class cabin are also likely to get the new business class seats, so that’s exciting. While details about the new seats are largely limited, we do know that the suites will offer significantly more privacy than the current product.

What do you make of Lufthansa installing first class on upcoming Airbus A350 deliveries, and what are you expecting from the product?

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  1. Brianair Guest

    I wonder why Lufthansa does not just get the A350-1000. I wonder if they ever considered it or plan to in the future. They could take advantage of its larger size and put first class on them instead of the -900s. It would more closely match the A340-600’s capacity while allowing them to stick to their plan of keeping the A350 fleet at Munich and the 777X fleet at Frankfurt. Having the largest plane based...

    I wonder why Lufthansa does not just get the A350-1000. I wonder if they ever considered it or plan to in the future. They could take advantage of its larger size and put first class on them instead of the -900s. It would more closely match the A340-600’s capacity while allowing them to stick to their plan of keeping the A350 fleet at Munich and the 777X fleet at Frankfurt. Having the largest plane based in Munich go from the A380 to the A350-900 seems like a pretty significant downgauge. The -900 is a great efficient plane and all, but let’s face it, it is just not that big of a long-haul plane, especially for a big intercontinental airline like Lufthansa with such a strong focus on hub-and-spoke (which usually means bigger planes). I feel it is a bit too small to have four cabins total (including first class) in it. There’s a reason so few airlines with the A350-900 have put first class on them. Carriers like SQ, CX, and PR use the -900 much like they would a 787-9. Additionally, I would think the -900 is too little airplane in general for many destinations out of Munich such as New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Singapore. Especially considering that all those destinations get (or plan to get) their much bigger 747-8s from Frankfurt. To be honest, knowing the kinds of moves they have been making the past couple of years, I would not be surprised if Lufthansa uses the installation of first class as an excuse to make each of the cabins in these retrofitted A350s more cramped.

  2. Christian Guest

    So there’s going to be a great new first class product that has so few seats that nobody can actually use miles to obtain two award seats? Possibly nice for awards for solo travelers but worthless for anyone else.

    1. Yiannis Guest

      That’s NOT why they’re putting them in! If you want to fly in F, buy F, you cheapskates.

    2. reddargon Diamond

      Very odd complaint. I'm sure these seats are far from worthless for those who pay for first class, which is who Lufthansa is primarily concerned with anyway.

    3. UGC Guest

      It depends…
      If you have to fly on fix dates, with 4 places it’s going to be tough to find availability
      Personally, I’m disappointed

    4. David Guest

      You don't run a business do you.

    5. Christian Guest

      I do, and a profitable one at that. I suppose that makes one of us since I have loyal staff and loyal customers and understand that giving those loyal people what they want is the way to ensure their loyalty in the future.

    6. Jan Guest

      A profitable business, you say? You must have some coin. Buy the F ticket, cheap-ass.

    7. Eskimo Guest

      My grandchildren runs a profitable lemonade stand business.

      I'm quite sure they won't save their best product to only give it out for free and not trying to sell them.

  3. Endre Guest

    I wonder if they standardize / harmonize LH’s F/CL with LX’s F/CL. There’s a trend to standardize premium eco and C/CL across the LH family.

    The mock-up which they showcased two years ago in Frankfurt looked more like QR’s Q-suites.

  4. hp12c Member

    Are those premium economy seats in the photo? They look very narrow if so.

    1. Endre Guest

      Yes, the second generation of premium eco seats

  5. Dr.ZzzZ Guest

    I think it can be like Australian flag carrier first class, simply LH had almost a similar product without privacy on its 747-400 aircrafts in the past they can use it as templates for the future FC cabin

  6. Alan Guest

    With LH offering F in very limited numbers out of Frankfurt in the future, what do you think will happen with the LH First Class Terminal there?

  7. TravelinWilly Diamond

    I just hope that LH continues to offer FC to Washington, DC; I care less whether it’s to FRA or MUC.

    1. AA70 Member

      I assume that's your primary base, but what are those short(er) TATL flights like? Do you get the time to genuinely enjoy the product?

      Not a knock, actually curious

    2. TravelinWilly Diamond

      @AA70 - DC is home base indeed.

      Very very very few of my Europe flights are OD flights; they’re pretty much transfer flights to someplace else (mainly S. Africa and Asia, and occasionally Oz). And yes, even for the DC-Europe legs I do have time to enjoy the product, but part of that is the ground experience at the connecting airport, which is also important, which is why I prefer LH and EK as much...

      @AA70 - DC is home base indeed.

      Very very very few of my Europe flights are OD flights; they’re pretty much transfer flights to someplace else (mainly S. Africa and Asia, and occasionally Oz). And yes, even for the DC-Europe legs I do have time to enjoy the product, but part of that is the ground experience at the connecting airport, which is also important, which is why I prefer LH and EK as much as possible. For the long-haul segments, yes, obviously those are much more enjoyable, though.

  8. AA70 Member

    I reckon IF they do unveil AND deploy a new product it will resemble that of Swiss. I highly doubt that it would be anything like Emirates full suites on the 777 as German luxury is quite understand.

    1. AA70 Member

      Understated*

      How nice would an edit function be

  9. John Guest

    Hasn't the bleeping obvious lesson sunk into our collective avgeek minds yet??? Whatever Lufty proposes should be taken with a wheelbarrow of salt UNTIL we can actually see, feel, and touch it. This is one airline whose 'new product' press release is fit for one thing, and one thing only: toilet paper/sanitary pads.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      @Johnn
      No reference to Winnie the Commie Poo??
      No rationalizing warfare and murder???
      No jokes at the expense of dead people????
      You're losing your touch, gurl......

  10. Ck Guest

    I bet it will be fairly luxurious as that seems the direction many big Airlines are headed. When I think of Lufthansa I dont think luxurious. More understated with German sense abilities. I Always have enjoyed Lufthansa & am looking forward to their newest product.

  11. Creditcrunch Diamond

    Would be interesting to know if the F demand out of Munich is corporate financial or other.

    1. GSHLGB New Member

      I would think corporate / tech

    2. Donato Guest

      Corporate to the extreme. This also reflects International clientele as MUC (as well as FRA) carry a fair amount of transfer pax and especially for firms with *A contracts.

    3. Brianair Guest

      Bee Ehm Dubbayyooooo

      Also Sieeeeemensssss

  12. David Diamond

    I think this merits SKYTRAX's first ever 6 star airline.

    1. Mark Guest

      they should reach 5 first!

  13. Joe Chivas Guest

    The real question: will Lufthansa allow Jews to fly in these first class suites?

    1. Moe Guest

      Yes but they will keep a camera on them to photograph transgressions. This despite the photo of FCL on the original LH401 flight having Cabin Crew sans mask in FCL.

    2. Barry Guest

      No, they are installing showers for the Jews to ride in.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Carsten Guest

Stupid comment.

3
David Diamond

I think this merits SKYTRAX's first ever 6 star airline.

2
TravelinWilly Diamond

I just hope that LH continues to offer FC to Washington, DC; I care less whether it’s to FRA or MUC.

1
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