Executive Traveller exclusive
Lufthansa will adopt Swiss' new premium economy seat for the German flag-carrier's factory-fresh Airbus 350 jets and Boeing 777-9 jets, with the seat expected to debut alongside its long-overdue business class seat – which will in turn be shared with Swiss.
It's part of a move by the Lufthansa Group to standardise the cabin experience across its member airlines, which also includes Austrian and Brussels Airlines.
A spokesman for Lufthansa confirmed to Executive Traveller that the Swiss seat will take wing in Lufthansa's colours, saying "Lufthansa will use the same new Premium Eco seat as Swiss in its new aircraft."
Those 'new aircraft' would include the Boeing 777-9 and Airbus A350 – some of which will also arrive with first class suites – although the spokesman said "the exact delivery date of the new aircraft has not yet been determined."
Citing the premium economy offering of Austrian and Brussels Airlines, he added "when the new Premium Economy seat will be introduced has not yet been determined."
Lufthansa introduced premium economy in October 2014, using the PC-01 model from German seat manufacturer Zim shaped by Müller/Romca Industrial Design.
The airline's 2019 Capital Markets Day revealed a new approach for its second-gen premium economy seat, which at the time was slated to launch from late 2020 on Lufthansa's Boeing 777-9 jets as well as the Swiss Boeing 777-300ER and Airbus A340-300 fleets.
That tease took form this week when Swiss launched its own Boeing 777-300ER premium economy seat, using Zim's PC-02 'ZIMmagic+' model.
This confident step forward includes a larger (15.6") video screen and storage nook below that upsized display, wrap-around privacy wings and as a full-height panel between the aisle passenger and the aisle itself.
One of the most significant changes from Lufthansa's original premium economy seat is that this new version is housed in its own fixed ‘shell’, reclining within that housing rather than leaning back to encroach on the space available to the passenger behind.
This cradle-style recline can play havoc with your lower back if there’s insufficient lumbar support, although stuffing a pillow behind you is a quick but short-term fix – it remains to be seen how well Zim’s designers and engineers have done their job to ensure passenger comfort on those long international flights.
Zim says that options on the PC-02 include USB-C power outlets, "provisions for wireless charging" and "Bluetooth connection" from the IFE to a passenger's own headphones – and it'll certainly be interesting to see if Lufthansa ticks those high-tech boxes for its own version of the seat.