Lufthansa has tasked its own maintenance and aircraft overhaul subsidiary to adapt and fit a new First Class suite for its fleet of Boeing 747-8 jumbo jets due to the challenges of trying to create a bespoke seat for the tapered ‘pointy end’ of the 747 where First Class cabins normally reside.
Lufthansa Technik is one of the world’s leading suppliers of technical aircraft services and carries out so-called ‘maintenance, repair and overhaul’ (MRO) work for airlines across the industry.
Based in Hamburg, Lufthansa had been mulling selling off its Technik division but will now use its expertise to try and get its eagerly awaited but very delayed new First Class suite concept finally off the ground.
Lufthansa touts a new suite, which is almost one meter wide with ceiling-high walls, a large wardrobe at every seat, suite-wide televisions, and the ability to buddy dine with a seatmate just like you would in a restaurant.
Beyond concept models shown off in late 2022, creating the new Allegris suite has, however, not been without its challenges, and that’s more so with getting the suites on the 747-8 fleet due to the unique footprint of that cabin in the nose of the plane.
Lufthansa Technik will be tasked with adapting the suite to fit on the 747-8, as well as actually installing the suite. The company said that a continuing “shortage of resources among suppliers and service providers” necessitated its involvement in the project.
The whole Allegris project has been marred with problems, and the 747 is proving particularly troublesome for the German flag carrier. Along with a tricky new First Class cabin, it turns out that the upper deck is also presenting issues for the installation of a new Business Class seat.
In fact, so tricky is the upper deck that Lufthansa might not bother refitting it with the new Allegris Business Class seat for at least a couple of years, meaning that passengers on the main deck will fly on brand new seats and those sat upstairs will have to make do with Lufthansa’s ageing Business Class product.
If that wasn’t embarrassing enough for Lufthansa, German aviation publication AeroTELEGRAPH also reports that the new seats will be so heavy that the airline might be forced to install a hefty counterbalance at the rear of the plane – adding to fuel costs and emissions.
And while we now know who will be installing the First Class suite on Lufthansa’s 747s, we still don’t know when the suite will actually debut.
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.