Lufthansa recently provided an update regarding its fleet and seating capacity for the near future. According to this Bloomberg article and coming as no surprise, Lufthansa looks to increase capacity at the expense of First Class seats.
According to the article, Carsten Spohr who run’s LH’s passenger airline division addressed analysts in London and provided projections for the next 2 years regarding capacity along with other minor updates:
- Capacity (number of seats available) will see a net increase of 1% for 2013. In 2014, LH projects capacity to increase by 5% followed by an additional 4% increase in 2015 and a further 3% increase for 2016. This gain will come from the elimination of First Class cabins on certain routes to Africa, Canada and India.
- Capacity increases will also come as more A380 and 747-8i aircraft are added to the fleet over the coming years while smaller aircraft like the A340 are retired from service. I would suspect that the new Premium Economy seat that is planned for rollout next year will take up a fair amount of space that is freed up by removing the 8 First Class seats from long haul aircraft as well as increasing the amount of 2-class aircraft within the fleet.
- Also as part of Spohr’s update, it looks like Sao Paolo will soon see the 747-8i. My guess is it will be ahead of the World Cup scheduled for June and July 2014. It may be just a matter of waiting for Boeing to deliver the next one.
- He also commented on a potential tie up with Air China and an expand LH’s relationship with ANA.
None of this should come as a major surprise since these moves have been widely expected and discussed for several months.