Jumbo-sized upgrade: Lufthansa 747s get new first, business class

The jumbo jet will fly on with new first and business class to cosset passengers above the clouds.

By David Flynn, October 17 2022
Jumbo-sized upgrade: Lufthansa 747s get new first, business class

Boeing is no longer making the 747 jumbo jet, and most airlines flying this fondly-remembered Queen of the Skies have retired it, with a series of farewells – including Qantas, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Thai Airways – triggered by the pandemic.

Lufthansa, however, is charting a different trajectory: its Boeing 747s not only continue to ferry travellers around the globe, they will be upgraded with the airline’s newest seats and suites to further extend their life.

Lufthansa's current 747 first class (left) and business class (right).
Lufthansa's current 747 first class (left) and business class (right).

Such a refit doesn’t seem to be on the cards for the A380, which indicates the jumbo could become Lufthansa’s flagship – at least until the first Boeing 777-9 arrives in 2025 or later.

Lufthansa currently flies the stretched 747-8I or Intercontinental version of the venerable jumbo; it was the 787-8’s launch customer in 2012, and among its 19-strong fleet is the 1500th 747 ever built (the final tally reached 1,572 jumbo jets after Boeing pulled the plug in July 2020).

And those 747s are in line for a makeover which travellers are sure to welcome.

That sharply-curved nose of the 747’s main deck will receive eight of Lufthansa’s ‘Allegris’ first class suites, each framed by “nearly ceiling-high walls” with a sliding privacy door and inbuilt wardrobe.

Lufthansa's new Allegris first class.
Lufthansa's new Allegris first class.

The seat converts to a wide fully-flat bed, although during the rest of the flight passengers face an ottoman which doubles as a companion seat.

Lufthansa's new Allegris first class.
Lufthansa's new Allegris first class.

Behind the exclusive first class cabin, and also on the extended upper deck ’bubble’, Lufthansa’s little-liked 2-2-2 business class seats will make way for a bespoke business class where rows of a conventional 1-2-1 layout alternate with 1-1-1 rows boasting a middle ‘throne’ seat.

Lufthansa's new Allegris business class.
Lufthansa's new Allegris business class.

In addition to plenty of working and storage space plus high-walled privacy around each seat, creature comforts include wireless audio beamed via Bluetooth from the 17-inch monitors to the passenger’s own wireless headphone or earbuds, wireless charging and a removable tablet to control everything from the inflight entertainment and seating position to lighting and ventilation.

Lufthansa's new Allegris business class.
Lufthansa's new Allegris business class.

The front row of each business class cabin will host a slightly roomier business class seat branded as a ‘business suite’ with sliding doors and a personal wardrobe.

This tip-to-tail refresh will also add Lufthansa’s third-generation premium economy seats, which like their business class cousins are big on privacy and increased personal space.

Lufthansa's latest premium economy.
Lufthansa's latest premium economy.

The former comes from a shell-like design with wrap-around ‘wings’ on either side of the headrest.

The seat is also housed in its own fixed ‘shell’ so it reclines within that housing rather than leaning back to encroach on the space available to the passenger behind.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Sep 2018

Total posts 159

Any idea how they will fit the suites into the nose of the 747? Is it first row 1-1 and then 1-2-1 with another 1-1 at the last row?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 May 2014

Total posts 36

Given it's mentioned that there'll be 8 new first class seats, I would expect the first two rows to be 1-1 and third (and last) row to be 1-2-1

Michael

29 Jan 2012

Total posts 150

Impressed to see a legacy airline utilizing the 747's for future development and operation - finally an airline using their intelligence and experience. The new First Class looks a fantastic product - well done LH!!

QF take note - a experienced competitor with a positive focus!!


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