Lufthansa Debuts “New” A350 Business Class

Lufthansa Debuts “New” A350 Business Class

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For the first time in well over a decade, a Lufthansa plane took off with a competitive business class product! 😉

Lufthansa’s new interim A350 business class

In late 2021 we learned that Lufthansa would be picking up four former Philippine Airlines Airbus A350s. The Philippine flag carrier was in bankruptcy protection and looking to downsize, and part of that involved offloading some A350s.

Lufthansa saw an opportunity here, and decided to acquire these planes, presumably with really favorable pricing. This is in addition to the aircraft orders that Lufthansa placed for A350-900s and 787-9s in both March 2019 and May 2021.

Lufthansa decided not to significantly alter the interiors of these former Philippine Airlines A350s, and that means the airline is introducing its best business class product yet. Below is the first picture of the business class product that will be found on four Lufthansa A350-900s. These planes feature just 30 business class seats, in a 1-2-1 configuration.

Lufthansa’s new A350-900 business class

That compares quite favorably to Lufthansa’s standard business class, which is in a 2-2-2 configuration (though there are 48 seats, so this new configuration represents a significant reduction in premium seats).

Lufthansa’s old A350-900 business class

Which routes feature Lufthansa’s new A350 business class?

The plan is for Lufthansa to fly these A350-900s with new business class from Munich (MUC) to destinations in Canada, including:

  • Montreal (YUL)
  • Toronto (YYZ)
  • Vancouver (YVR)

The first plane with the new cabins has the registration code D-AIVC, and the plane is flying today from Munich to Toronto. You can expect that it’ll be rotated between those destinations in the coming weeks, until the other planes enter service (at which point all the routes should consistently have the new cabins).

Lufthansa’s first A350 with new cabins is now flying

What about Lufthansa’s other new business class product?

Back in 2017, Lufthansa unveiled what was supposed to be the carrier’s new business class product. Nearly five years later, not a single plane has those seats. Why? The plan was initially for the new seats to debut on the Boeing 777-9, which was supposed to become Lufthansa’s new flagship aircraft. However, delivery of that plane keeps getting delayed, and is now planned for 2025 at the earliest.

Lufthansa’s “real” new business class product

Lufthansa’s latest plan is that some 787s and A350s delivered in 2023 will feature the new cabins. We don’t have exact details yet, but that’s the general plan.

Just to be clear, only the A350s acquired from Philippine Airlines will feature these staggered seats that have debuted today. There are no plans to reconfigure existing planes with those cabins.

Bottom line

Lufthansa is acquiring four former Philippine Airlines Airbus A350s, and the airline won’t be doing much to change the cabins of these planes. The good news is that this represents a huge improvement for Lufthansa business class passengers, as they’ll finally get seats with direct aisle access.

The first of these planes has entered service as of today, and over the coming months we can expect that all flights from Munich to Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver, will feature these planes.

What do you make of Lufthansa’s “new” A350 business class?

Conversations (34)
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  1. Regis Guest

    That 2-2-2 high density cabin configuration is premium economy in my books. How can an airline get away calling that business class? And who in the world with any standards would ever pays J fares for that?

  2. Brianair Guest

    The decision to only fly the ex-PAL 1-2-1 business class to these three cities in Canada is puzzling. YYZ and YUL are short transatlantic hops where people might not care as much about direct aisle access. YVR is kind of long, I guess, but Lufthansa has plenty of significantly longer routes, such as MUC-LAX, MUC-SIN, MUC-BKK, and MUC-MEX (assuming they no longer plan to base A350s out of FRA). I would think they would try...

    The decision to only fly the ex-PAL 1-2-1 business class to these three cities in Canada is puzzling. YYZ and YUL are short transatlantic hops where people might not care as much about direct aisle access. YVR is kind of long, I guess, but Lufthansa has plenty of significantly longer routes, such as MUC-LAX, MUC-SIN, MUC-BKK, and MUC-MEX (assuming they no longer plan to base A350s out of FRA). I would think they would try to put this “new” business class on those routes, where having a competitive product likely matters more.

  3. Flieger Guest

    For years you´ve been going on about LH´s business class and I am still at a loss for words how you cannot appreciate that there are a lot of people travelling together with others and actually enjoy this layout. If you travel with the wife and kids in business class this is an awful lot better than any of the reverse herringbone, staggered and suite layouts. There´s a market for this. Just not for travel bloggers.

    1. Watson Member

      > If you travel with the wife and kids in business class

      So... 1% of J travelers, maybe? There's a reason it's called business class and not family class. Business travelers (and yes, travel bloggers too!) want privacy and a comfortable bed, neither of which is offered by LH's current J configuration.

    2. Bob Guest

      Not all people in business class are sad lonely salesmen flying to do the bidding of their corporate overlord.

      Some of us enjoy flying with our spouses and taking vacations.

      A 1-2-1 config is a perfect compromise.

    3. Watson Member

      @Bob: Of course there are leisure travelers in J, but as you say, if you're flying with your spouse you can take the middle 2.

      If someone's kids aren't old enough that they'd be worried about not having them in their line of sight at all times on a plane, the rest of us would kindly request that they relocate to P.E.

    4. Gaurav Community Ambassador

      Highly doubt that market is 1%. There are plenty of people with money who can afford to travel in J with their families. I'd be curious what the actual market breakdown is.

    5. Brianair Guest

      I feel like in this day and age, the market for non direct aisle access business class seats would be more for places like Hawaii, Fiji, or Tahiti where a lot of couples go on vacation together, hence why Hawaiian and Fiji Airways continue to maintain a 2-2-2 layout on their A330s, and why Air Tahiti Nui opted for a 2-2-2 business class on their brand new 787s (which were delivered only a couple years...

      I feel like in this day and age, the market for non direct aisle access business class seats would be more for places like Hawaii, Fiji, or Tahiti where a lot of couples go on vacation together, hence why Hawaiian and Fiji Airways continue to maintain a 2-2-2 layout on their A330s, and why Air Tahiti Nui opted for a 2-2-2 business class on their brand new 787s (which were delivered only a couple years ago). Maybe I don’t know better about this, but it seems like Germany (where LH calls home) is no more of a market for non direct aisle “couples” seats as the UK, France, or the Netherlands are. Frankfurt and Munich are significantly larger markets for business travelers than leisure. Yet why have BA, AF, and KL all been moving quickly to put direct aisle business class on long haul aircraft (at least those that aren’t on the way out) unlike LH?

    6. KK13 Gold

      I avoid LH like a plague. No way I am paying to choose my business class seat.
      My only relation with LH is to avail of their First Class lounge at FRA while flying Swiss F.

    7. jetset Member

      Even if long-haul business class is 60% business travelers / 40% leisure (which is likely generous for leisure), that would still tilt the scales towards a general preference for all-aisle access vs. 2-2-2 among the airline's demand.

      Let's just not pretend "the market" is what's driving Lufthansa to fly their horribly outdated business product and acknowledge it's a cost decision. I fly to Europe frequently (I'm Global Services on UA) and on my flights (at...

      Even if long-haul business class is 60% business travelers / 40% leisure (which is likely generous for leisure), that would still tilt the scales towards a general preference for all-aisle access vs. 2-2-2 among the airline's demand.

      Let's just not pretend "the market" is what's driving Lufthansa to fly their horribly outdated business product and acknowledge it's a cost decision. I fly to Europe frequently (I'm Global Services on UA) and on my flights (at admittedly ideal business times) I would estimate 65-85% of the cabin are solo business travelers.

      Besides, among 2-2-2 configurations LH still has one of the worst products on the market. I'd rather fly LOT's seat (or Turkish's old seat), or even United's old 2-2-2 product on their 787 than fly the LH seat. No privacy, not comfortable, and likely in an overheated cabin to add insult to injury.

      LH has a decent soft product - I just wish they'd massively accelerate their hard product updates.

  4. Cedric Guest

    Good news, I was avoiding LH like the plague. Great that they are flying this out of YUL.

  5. Peter S, Guest

    Good competition to AF's new business class seats out of YUL.

  6. STAKK New Member

    The most frustrating part of this is, how much Lufthansa hypes this on their social media. They are pretending as if this was this great upgrade for everyone... whereas this impacts only the smallest percentage of flyers.

  7. Anna Guest

    Good move. AC is garbage all around, but had a better J seat.
    Now AC is just garbage.

    1. ted Guest

      lol...I mean AC still has better signature lounge for business passengers.... also the lamb, steak and bbq dishes are better than what Lufthansa and United offer... obviously Eva's dumplings and buns and Turkish /ANA catering are better for star alliance

    2. Bob Guest

      And a deflating seat that nothing has been done about in years.
      And 50% on time performance with no customer service when you inevitably miss your flight.

    3. Bob Guest

      Such a disgrace of an airline.

  8. Cosmo Guest

    Is it just me or does Canada often get the new, small roll out, premium cabins. Or at least this and Club Suite.

  9. [email protected] Guest

    Being Quebec City/Montreal based, am LOVING this news. Lufthansa just came back onto my radar, now if they could just bring back the First Class service...

  10. Steve Diamond

    You lot do realize Skytrax is a business and businesses function to make money. Every list and ranking you see online is ultimately paid advertising, dont get all upset when you see someone win an "award".

  11. Ralph4878 Guest

    So they're putting their best J configuration on two of their shortest "long haul" flights. Sigh. I thought, perhaps, they'd use these birds for LAX, SFO, and ORD (this last one is not much longer than YYZ, but with UA there, I suspect slightly more premium connectivity than with AC at YYZ). Then again, 30 J seats isn't a huge cabin nowadays.

    1. Lune New Member

      I think it might be precisely because there are so few J seats. In premium heavy markets like LAX/SFO/ORD, I bet they sell most of the 40+ J seats in their current configuration. Downgrading to 30 seats would be a big revenue hit.

  12. KK13 Guest

    It still boggles my mind how LH got their 5-star rating.

    1. Alexf1 Member

      Bank transfer to Skytrax

    2. Bob Guest

      Same way Air Canada (a 2* airline at best) got 4 stars!
      $$$

  13. Tevi Guest

    It's a joke that Skytrax awarded LH 5 stars years ago based on the product that won't debut for another 3 years...

    1. Oliver Guest

      How often do the Skytrax rankings get revised? Does LH keep its 5* for eternity?

  14. Levi Member

    The business class which got LH their 5 star rating is the gift that keeps on giving for OMAAT.

  15. U S Guest

    Will be on one of these in june out of montreal. Looking forward to it! Makes sense now why the seat map was funky.

  16. Endre Guest

    Carsten Spohr turned LH into an LLC with premium fares. They can’t even cater Y passengers on intra-European anymore because LSG / GateGourmet faces labor shortage. 5-star airline. It will take years to upgrade C and F with new seats once the 787 and future 350 have joined the fleet.

  17. Up Up & Away Member

    Wow, this news should get them 6 stars on Skytrax!

    1. Martin Guest

      and 7 stars as they will get something even better next year

    2. Alexf1 Member

      And Best Recycled Business Class Cabin 2022 Award

    3. ATR flyer Guest

      The mistake we all make with Lufthansa's 5 star status is that we all assume it is 5 out of 5 stars. Lufthansa is clearly a 5 star airline - 5 out of 100.

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.

Up Up & Away Member

Wow, this news should get them 6 stars on Skytrax!

10
Watson Member

> If you travel with the wife and kids in business class So... 1% of J travelers, maybe? There's a reason it's called business class and not family class. Business travelers (and yes, travel bloggers too!) want privacy and a comfortable bed, neither of which is offered by LH's current J configuration.

4
Flieger Guest

For years you´ve been going on about LH´s business class and I am still at a loss for words how you cannot appreciate that there are a lot of people travelling together with others and actually enjoy this layout. If you travel with the wife and kids in business class this is an awful lot better than any of the reverse herringbone, staggered and suite layouts. There´s a market for this. Just not for travel bloggers.

2
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