In what was not exactly a surprise, Lufthansa took the opportunity at last week’s ITB travel show in Berlin to confirm that a new long haul Business Class product is coming for 2020. Why 2020? It’s because 2020 is when LH plans to introduce Boeing’s new 777X to their fleet.
What makes this announcement different from past Lufthansa cabin announcements is that the new Business Class seat will be ‘standardized’ across Lufthansa, SWISS, and Austrian. In other words, each of these carriers will share the same exact seat in their respective Business Cabin. At this point, no decision has been made on Brussels, but in my opinion since Brussels is being melded into Eurowings, it may not enjoy the same cabin as the other carriers within LH Group.
The reason for the standardized Business Class is simple. It is much easier to develop one seating system, and more cost effective to install and maintain that one system.
No specific details of the seat have been revealed other than it will be a very ‘digitized seat’ in that passengers will have complete control of their seat through their ‘smart’ device. This control will extend to the control of seat position, lighting, and of course the IFE system.
The one concern that I have with the announcement has to do with verbiage from Lufthansa. It is suggested that the seat HAS been developed instead of WILL BE developed. Hopefully this doesn’t mean that the seat will already be obsolete by the time it is introduced. This has happened in the past, so hopefully lessons have been learned.
Also, in my opinion, based on what I have heard from Lufthansa and others in the know while I was in Munich a few weeks ago, it appears that this Business Class cabin upgrade may also go a long way in reducing, if not eliminating the First Class cabin from Lufthansa’s DNA. With no plans for a First Class cabin for the 777X, and the new A350s also being without a First Class cabin, the writing is clearly on the wall.