Lufthansa will operate its fleet of Boeing 747 jumbo jets with both its brand new ‘Allegris’ Business Class seats and much older seats, which offer little privacy and outdated technology and don’t come with direct aisle access at every seat.
Several sources quoted by German publication AeroTelegraph have confirmed that the planes could be flying for at least two years with a mix of old and new seats as Lufthansa battles supply chain constraints and design issues that have pushed the Allegris rollout into next year.
Lufthansa unveiled its next generation of long-haul seats more than a year ago at an event in Berlin last October, but while the German flag carrier had hoped to have some planes already flying with the new seats, there’s still no indication when passengers might actually get to experience them in real life.
The Allegris upgrade includes a new fully enclosed First Class suite, direct aisle Business Class seats, as well as product upgrades in Premium Economy and Economy, which should be a step change in passenger experience for Lufthansa.
Unfortunately, sources claim the new Business Class seat will be installed in the main deck on Lufthansa’s fleet of Boeing 747-400 and 747-8 aircraft, alongside the new Premium Economy and Economy seats.
On the upper deck, Lufthansa looks like it will be forced to retain its older Business Class seats, as well as its ageing First Class seats in the nose of the plane downstairs.
Lufthansa is one of only a dwindling number of airlines to still operate the passenger variant of the Boeing 747 and the new Business Class seats will need to be adapted to fit the constraints of the aircraft on the upperdeck – a challenge that Lufthansa’s seat maker is struggling with.
We also already know that Lufthansa has had issues getting the First Class suite past the finish line, which would explain the delay on that front.
The AeroTelegragh also reports that the new Business Class seats are much heavier than the previous generation of seats and, as a result, the airline might have to install massive weights at the rear of its 747s to prevent the centre of gravity tipping to the front.
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.
All going well, the much-delayed product will now debut in Spring 2024 when Lufthansa takes delivery of 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.
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.