Lufthansa is to install its new Business Class seats with direct aisle access and ‘throne’ seats on its fleet of eight Airbus A380 superjumbos after concluding that the quad-engined gas guzzlers will be flying for the foreseeable future, CEO Carsten Spohr confirmed on Thursday.
The German flag carrier grounded its fleet of A380s at the start of the pandemic, and there was talk of them being scrapped until Lufthansa decided last year that it needed some of its Superjumbos back in the sky to plug a capacity shortfall.
Initially, Lufthansa planned to bring back just six of its eight-strong A380 fleet, but the airline is now bringing back the entire fleet from long-term storage, and Spohr sees the aircraft as an integral part of the overall Lufthansa fleet for the longer term.
Spohr won’t be drawn on how many years the A380 will actually be with Lufthansa, but it’s going to be around long enough for the airline to commit capital expenditure for a complete refit of the Business Class cabin with Lufthansa’s new ‘Allegris’ product which was initially expected to debut this year.
The long-awaited Allegris Business Class will feature a staggered alternating 1-2-1 or 1-1-1 configuration with direct aisle access for all passengers – a big improvement on Lufthansa’s rapidly ageing existing Business Class product.
The much-delayed product will not now debut until next Spring 2024 when Lufthansa takes delivery for a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner with the cabin freshly installed. The cabin will then feature on a brand new Airbus A350 before retrofits of older aircraft are pencilled in.
“This costs money, but is important in order to remain sustainably profitable,” Sphor was quoted by Aerotelegraph.
A timeline for the retrofit programme has not yet been revealed. Nor is there news on whether Lufthansa might upgrade the A380s First Class cabin.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.