Lufthansa Will Introduce New First And Business Class Next Year

Last month I wrote that airlines dropping first class leaves a revenue opportunity on the table. The airlines that have failed with the product market it wrong.

Lufthansa sees first class as crucial to their brand positioning, but they quite correctly don’t see a market for it on all of their flights. They’ve offered the cabin on more routes than where it made sense because they didn’t want multiple configurations of the same plane, and have wanted the flexibility to deploy an aircraft across different routes.

I wrote three years ago that I expected them to continue offering first class, just with fewer seats, and “could imagine offering just one row of first” on new Boeing 787s and Airbus A350s.

We know now that Lufthansa is keeping first class, and introducing a new seat next year along with a little something about what to expect. This will happen alongside the introduction of new business seats as well.

Ten Airbus A350 jets will sport Lufthansa’s new first class, with the airline previously stating these “will join the fleet and take off from Munich… in late summer 2023”.

…The new first class suites are believed to be limited to the first row of the A350’s cabin, in which case there would be just four suites..

New business class was supposed to debut with the Boeing 777-9, but with that plane delayed it will debut on A350 and 787 deliveries. It will be “alternates rows of a conventional 1-2-1 layout with 1-1-1 rows featuring a middle ‘throne’ seat.” The throne seats will have more desk space but won’t offer as long of a bed. SWISS and Austrian will eventually get a version of this seat as well.

These new products are expected at the end of 2023, with new delivery aircraft in the meantime receiving an ‘interim’ seat that they expect to replace but that has direct aisle access at least. The A350s offering first class will be based in Munich.

In normal times Lufthansa doesn’t release first class award seats to those using miles in a partner frequent flyer program, like United’s MileagePlus or Air Canada’s Aeroplan, more than 15 days in advance though there are exceptions. With a four seat cabin on the A350 I’d expect award availability to be even stricter.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. It always shocks me that people will still pay — or even use miles – to fly LH in premium classes other than the vanishingly few routes on which they have no competition at all . . . and even then. Even lowly BA upped their game while LH has become probably the worst business class of any major airline in the world (no other candidates come immediately to mind).

  2. My understanding is the 787’s will have different seats to the a350’s and 777-9. Has anyone actually seen the 787’s yet?

  3. @Nick

    I thought most (or all) of the 787s were being purchased for Austrian and Swiss? Lufthansa would stick with the A350, and the others would get the 787. Just like how Air France holds the A350 and KLM has the 787. Keeps the fleet management simple.

  4. @Mak

    While I would generally agree, at this point I would gladly use miles for an award with LH as I barely find any summer awards to Europe.

    While BA might have a better seat, the fact that you have to pay $100 to chose a seat for an award booking combined with their ridiculous fees and connecting in LHR places them below LH.

  5. Lufthansa will be bankrupt well before the re-introduction of first class, due to the Woke and Deranged German government that allowed for the wholesale destruction of their economy by enabling $1000+ oil and betting on nonsensical windmills and solar panels only.

  6. Pre Covid I travelled on UA in First Class from SFO to FRA and Business Class on the return. First Class just doesn’t warrant the amount of extra points required. I would think that would apply to other carriers as well.

  7. Whilst the new planes actually open up a chance of this new F and J I’ll point out that the J they’re saying will definitely, 100%, probably, maybe sometime in ’23 that same J seat was due in planes in 2017/18 and is vastly out of date before the 1st one is bolted to the floor.

    It’s from that data point I’ll hold my breathe and do my best to suppress my excitement about a new F product making it in the same time frame.

    As for “they’ll be bankrupt by then” no they’ll be fine as the German Gov will, further, bail them out. Illegal State Aid within the EU only applies if your not German. Otherwise it’s totally fine

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