Lufthansa to boost capacity and legroom with new 'slim back' seating

By David Flynn, November 30 2010

In the airline equivalent of having your cake and eating it too, Lufthansa has found a way to add more seats to its aircraft yet also give passengers more legroom.

That's typically an either/or proposition – cramming more seats in means cramping your passengers. But Lufthansa says that newly-designed seats with slimmer backrests and mounting will recover enough space to add  extra rows to each plane while boosting legroom by up to 5 centimetres.

The refit is aimed at Lufthansa's short-haul fleet of 200 single-aisle aircraft – including the Airbus A320, Boeing 737 plus several Canadair and Embraer models – which can currently carry about 33,000 people.

Lufthansa estimates the increased carrying capacity will add almost 2,000 extra seats across the business and economy cabins.

The seats will also sport a more ergonomic design and be part of a revamp of Lufthansa's short-haul services be unveiled on December 15th.

European analysts see Lufthansa's move as an attempt to retain leadership against lower-cost carriers, and in some ways this is similar to Qantas' recent push to reinvigorate its domestic service – with Next-Generation Check-in, a refit for lounges plus enhanced lounge and inflight meals – as Virgin Blue makes ready for it own assault on the Australian business and corporate market.


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

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