Lufthansa confirms ‘mysterious’ new Boeing 787 business class

The German flag-carrier’s first Boeing 787 Dreamliners will have an interim business class straddling the old and the new.

By David Flynn, May 5 2021
Lufthansa confirms ‘mysterious’ new Boeing 787 business class

Lufthansa's first Boeing 787-9 jets will take wing by the end of this year, and they'll sport an all-new business class seat – but this won't the long-awaited seat created for the long-delayed Boeing 777X.

Instead, the Deutsche Dreamliners will carry an 'interim' design to bridge the gap between the carrier's last-gen and next-gen seating.

Lufthansa Group CEO Carsten Spohr, speaking overnight at the airline's annual general meeting, confirmed that the Boeing 777-9 business class concept revealed in 2017 would still debut on those jets circa 2023-2024.

Lufthansa's fresh Boeing 777-9 business class design.
Lufthansa's fresh Boeing 777-9 business class design.

In the meantime, the first five Boeing 787s arriving from late 2021 to mid-2022 will be fitted with something else again – "an upgraded business class compared to the current product" – but it'll be a clear step up, beginning with direct aisle access so there'll be no need to step over anybody.

Lufthansa's long-standing 2-2-2 business class.
Lufthansa's long-standing 2-2-2 business class.

That 1-2-1 layout is about all that's known of the new seat, with a Lufthansa spokesperson saying "this represents an important first step in improving our long-haul product as a whole, in the course of which the new Lufthansa Group Business Class will also be introduced."

With only five aircraft to be fitted out at this stage, there's been early speculation they could see a Vantage XL design from Thompson Aero and Factorydesign, along the same lines as that of LH sibling Swiss.

Swiss' business class is based on the Vantage XL seat from Thompson Aero and Factorydesign.
Swiss' business class is based on the Vantage XL seat from Thompson Aero and Factorydesign.

Thompson has also provided Vantage-based business class seating for Lufthansa's Austrian Airlines and Brussels Airlines, and was behind Lufthansa's advanced Boeing 777-9 business class.

German aviation journalist Andreas Spaeth suggests Lufthansa will install an "improved" version "of the current product," although it's challenging to see how that design could be efficiently and cost-effectively be modified to a 1-2-1 format.

However, as these five Boeing 787-9s were originally slated for another (at this stage unknown) airline and nimbly picked up by Lufthansa after that order was cancelled, it's likely have whatever business class seat was intended by that airline, given the usually lengthy period for design and fit-out.

With 1-2-1 now the norm for medium-long range business class, whatever was intended for those orphaned Dreamliners could even be from Thompson's Vantage XL line or an equivalent from other seat-makers such as Collins, Safran or Stelia.

Lufthansa is also beefing up its Airbus A350 fleet.
Lufthansa is also beefing up its Airbus A350 fleet.

Spohr also announced that Lufthansa would add five more Airbus A350-900s to its international fleet, on top of the 17 already in its hangars and the 36 orders and options on the books, "pushing ahead with the modernisation of our long-haul fleet even faster than planned prior to the coronavirus."

"Even in these challenging times, we are continuing to invest in a more modern, more efficient and a lower emission Lufthansa Group fleet," Spohr said.

"The new aircraft are the most modern of their kind. We want to further expand our global leadership role, among other things, with cutting-edge premium products and a state-of-the-art fleet – especially because we have a responsibility to the environment."

David

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.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jan 2015

Total posts 74

Be great to see Lufthansa back in OZ someday.  

C2K
C2K

British Airways - Executive Club

10 Dec 2020

Total posts 4

"an interim design" is nearly as disingenuous as their much vaulted ( see also: paid for) Skytrax 5 stat award. These are 'white tails' so the only 'design' elements likely are the upholstery and color scheme, which will likely be a carry over from existing product. 

They already have seats fitted and all LH will be doing is branding the cabin interior. 

With this much delayed, even long before Covid became a factor, and BER's debacle. The old adage of the Germans being an efficient bunch seems to have become consigned to the history books

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Feb 2015

Total posts 24

"However, as these five Boeing 787-9s were originally slated for another (at this stage unknown) airline and nimbly picked up by Lufthansa after that order was cancelled"

That is Norwegian for at least 4 of the 5 frames ordered


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