Brussels Airlines has announced plans to retire the majority of their existing A330 aircraft and replace them with brand new A330s as it seeks to update its fleet. According to their strategy, 7 of their 10 A330s will be swapped for new ones during 2018 and 2019.
What makes this an even bigger deal is the fact that along with the new aircraft,’SN’ will introduce an entirely new cabin interior. Business Class, Economy Privilege, and Economy will all receive substantial facelifts.
Though specifics have not yet been decided upon, I suspect the new cabin interiors will be in line with the new cabins that will be introduced by Lufthansa, SWISS, and Austrian beginning in 2018. LH Group had previously stated that they have the desire to create a standardized cabin across the Group’s airlines. With Brussels now being a wholly owned division of LH Group, it stands to reason that Brussels Airlines will benefit from the strategy.
I look forward to seeing what ‘SN’ comes up with when the new birds begin joining the fleet. I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing their wonderful Business Class product and am curious how they’ll make it even better!
SWISS has announced that over the next 2 years, it will roll out upgrades and enhancements to the long haul fleet, focusing on their A330 and A340 aircraft.
Beginning in December, SWISS will begin to retrofit their 14 Airbus A330 aircraft with Wifi connectivity. Obviously this will not happen overnight, but SWISS anticipates that all of their A330s will have the retrofit complete by the end of 2017. Math suggests that approximately one aircraft per month will be taken out of circulation for a few days to complete the work. WiFi is currently available only on SWISS 777 aircraft.
SWISS has also stated that their A340s will receive the same First Class cabin as the Airbus A330. The big advantage of the newer F product is the increased size of the television screen and an enhanced IFE system. The fact that the seats will be brand new will also go a long way to refresh the cabins and give them a brand new look and feel. WiFi is also planned during this upgrade. SWISS expects that it will take through 2018 to complete this retrofit on their 10 A340 aircraft.
Related: First Class Aboard SWISS A330
When Lufthansa’s ‘D-AIKJ’ comes out of scheduled maintenance in September, it will be the first A330 to be in service that will not have a First Class cabin. The Munich-based aircraft will only have Business, Premium Economy, and Economy class cabins.
Based on initial plans, the aircraft will only fly between Munich and Delhi beginning on September 23 and will remain on the route until her retirement, though I suspect that commitment can change. A-AIKJ entered service in 2005, so there are few good years left to her.
As more A330 aircraft go through their maintenance schedules, expect more to have their First Class cabin removed.
Captured here as she departed Dubai, D-AIKJ will be Lufthansa’s first A330 without First Class seating.
H/T: MUCForum.de / Oliver2002
Lufthansa has unveiled the first Eurowings A330 (D-AXGA) in the new Eurowings livery this week. The plane had been flown to Taiwan where it was painted last week and is now enroute to LH Technik in Hamburg to have its cabin installed. For those of you in and near Hamburg, the aircraft is set to arrive at 19:00 tonight (July 1, 2015).
Eurowings’ newly painted A330…..photo courtesy of Lufthansa.
A second A330 is expected to be repainted and retrofit in the next 2 weeks.
Eurowings is set to launch their long haul service on November 15 when it starts flying from Cologne to a variety of destinations in the Carribean, Thailand, and Dubai. However, the 2 A330s that will be in the Eurowings fleet will fly routes within Europe beginning November 2 before transitioning to long haul service on the 15th.
In this final installment that covers Lufthansa’s recent announcement concerning the Long Haul Fleet for 2015, I look at changes taking place to the A330/A340 fleet. If you missed my previous posts concerning these updates here are the links: PART I (747-400) , PART II (A380) , PART III (747-8i). For the new seating charts reflecting Premium Economy across the fleet, please visit this post containing all the maps.
Starting with the A340-300, beginning on April 27, cabin configuration will change from 42 Business / 225 Economy to 30 Business / 249 Economy seats on the following routes:
Frankfurt – Atlanta
Frankfurt – Bangkok (On June 3 will change to 30 Business / 28 Premium Economy / 221 Economy)
Frankfurt – Chennai
Frankfurt – Dallas
Frankfurt – Dubai
Frankfurt – Kuala Lumpur (On June 3 will change to 30 Business / 28 Premium Economy / 221 Economy)
Frankfurt – Montreal (Beginning on July 3)
Frankfurt – Nagoya (On June 3 will change to 30 Business / 28 Premium Economy / 221 Economy)
Frankfurt – Nanjing
Frankfurt – Philadelphia (Beginning on April 29)
Frankfurt – Shenyang
For A340-300s that are based in Dusseldorf, they will switch on May 4 from 42 Business / 225 Economy to 42 Business / 28 Premium Economy / 181 Economy seats on the following routes:
Dusseldorf – Chicago
Dusseldorf – Newark
Turning to the A340-600s in the fleet, several changes are in store for the routes they fly:
Beginning on May 14, A340-600 flying on the following routes will change from 8 First Class / 56 Business Class / 217 Economy to 8 First Class / 44 Business Class / 245 Economy Class seats. Then on June 15 the cabin configuration will change to 8 First / 44 Business / 32 Premium Economy / 213 Economy seats:
Munich – Boston
Munich – Chicago
The A340-600 will debut a 4 class cabin (8 First / 44 Business / 32 Premium Economy / 213 Economy seats) on May 12 for the following routes:
Munich – Beijing
Munich – Los Angeles
Munich – Mexico City
Munich – Newark
Munich – San Francisco
Munich – Sao Paulo
Beginning on July 27 the same cabin configuration will debut on:
Munich – New York (JFK)
Beginning on August 20 the same cabin configuration will debut on:
Frankfurt – Bogota
Frankfurt – Detroit
Frankfurt – Tehran
For certain Premium Economy Routes that are scheduled to start in January from Munich, there will be a minor cabin layout adjustment. Initially these A340-600s will be configured with 8 First / 56 Business / 28 Premium Economy / 189 Economy seats. The cabin layout on the following routes will change to 8 First / 44 Business / 32 Premium Economy / 213 Economy seats:
Munich – Tokyo (HND) beginning on March 29
Munich – Hong Kong beginning on May 14
Munich – Seoul(ICN) beginning on May 14
Munich – Shanghai beginning on May 14
The A330 – 300 seating chart will change on May 1 from 8 First / 48 Business 161 Economy seats to 8 First / 36 Business / 193 Economy seats for the following routes.
Munich – Boston (Until May 15 when a 3 class A340-600 take over, followed by a 4 class A340 on June 15)
Munich – Charlotte
Munich – Dubai
Munich – Mumbai
Munich – New York JFK
Munich – Riyadh
Munich – Toronto
Munich – Vancouver (beginning May 14)
Munich – Washington Dulles
I know that this is a lot of information to digest, so in the event that you need more details or a deeper explanation of the changes and how they may impact your travels, please leave a comment or contact me directly.