Lufthansa increased its Boeing 787 order from 20 to 25 yesterday and accelerated the delivery schedule, which will begin later this year. Today, it indicated it will use an “intermediate” business class seat on its 787, not the business class seat it unveiled in 2017. To guess what the Lufthansa 787 business class seat will look like, we should start by looking at existing 787 business class seats and also business class seats within the Lufthansa group.
Lufthansa Will Debut A New Business Class Seat On 787
As noted on aero.de and One Mile At A Time, Lufthansa will introduce a new business class seat on its 787, but it will not be the 2017 seat that Lufthansa unveiled as the future of business class.
The five Boeing 787s that Lufthansa will receive by mid-2022 will have an upgraded Business Class compared to the current product. This represents an important first step in improving our long-haul product as a whole, in the course of which the new Lufthansa Group Business Class will be introduced.
The new seat was designed for the Boeing 777X and Airbus A350, complicating efforts to simply place it on the 787.
Here are six potential business class seats that could appear on the Lufthansa 787.
Lufthansa 787 Business Class Option #1 – United Polaris
United’s latest business class product is appealing to Lufthansa in that Lufthansa is able to maintain cabin density and still offer direct aisle access at every seat. Air France also offers very similar seats on its A350-900.
These shelf-ready seats could be slightly modified to reflect Lufthansa touches and likely be ready for delivery later in 2021.
I’ve reviewed it onboard the 787-9 here, so there would be no certification issues.
Lufthansa 787 Business Class Option #2 – Reverse Herringbone
American Airlines offers reverse herringbone seats on its 787-9. These are wonderful seats and would represent a huge upgrade to the current Lufthansa business class seats. However, I don’t think we will see these because it would create a fairly substantial division between the 787 and the rest of the Lufthansa longhaul fleet.
Lufthansa 787 Business Class Option #3 – British Airways
British Airways offers so-called “Yin/Yang” seats onboard its 787-9 in business class. There are seven seats across, all have direct aisle access, and A, E, and K seats face backwards while B, D, F, and J seats face forward.
I find it very unlikely Lufthansa would consider these seats because they are already deemed obsolete.
Lufthansa 787 Business Class Option #4 – Apex Suite
The Apex Suite is considered the most private and one of the most comfortable business class seats. It appears on the Oman Air 787-9 in business class (and Korean Air uses it as a first class seats on its 787-9). Although this is is a beautiful seat, it frankly looks better than the seat Lufthansa unveiled in 2017 and therefore I find it unlikely that Lufthansa would go with this option.
Lufthansa 787 Business Class Option #5 – Thompson Aero Vantage
Lufthansa could potentially use the business class seats already found on Austrian Airlines and Swiss known as Thompson Vantage seats. These staggered seats would likely not offer direct aisle seat to every passenger (though they would to 5/6 of passengers in business class). Potentially, they could be configured in a 1-2-1 configuration so as to allow direct aisle access at every seat, though it would result in wasted real estate on the Dreamliner.
Lufthansa 787 Business Class Option #6 – Thompson Aero VantageXL
Qantas uses the VatnageXL seat on its 787-9, which does offer direct aisle access at every seat. This seat is also in use by SAS aboard its widebody fleet. It’s a very comfortable seat and I would say this is a great option that optimizes space while still offering a notable upgrade.
I think the first and last options (United Polaris or Vantage XL) are most likely to appear on the Lufthansa 787-9. While a Vantage solution with direct aisle access seems to make sense to harmonize the Lufthansa Group fleet, the 787 seems a bit wide to make that work (unlike the 767). I look forward to seeing what Lufthansa will unveil onboard its new fleet of Dreamliners.
Which Lufthansa 787 Business Class seat do you predict will be used?
Could also be the SQ regional seat (same as TK). SQ recently cancelled a bunch 0f 787
BA’s J product on the 787 most certainly does not offer aisle access for all seats – readily visible in the picture. That’s roughly true when the aisle seat is upright but you’re still walking in front of someone and possibly over their legs/feet if they’re stretched out. When the aisle seat is reclined in a sleeping position, then you’ll definitely have to crawl over someone’s legs. Only their A350 has true aisle access for all seats.
I consider the BA seat as having aisle access because the other person doesn’t have to get up, but I do see your point.
For the Thompson Aero Vantage seat, wouldn’t 8/9 of the Business Class passengers have aisle access (instead of 5/6). I’ve never flown this product before, but I believe that the configuration for this seat type on the 787 would be 1:2:1 and then 1:2:2 for alternating rows, thereby only 1/9 not having access?
You are correct.
The 2017 concept looks ridiculous. Surely not a viable option now. I think they’d be comfortable to ditch the vision for something nicer.
I tend to think a BA-like reverse herringbone product with closing doors would be the ideal solution for LH.
I think I recall reading somewhere that United has exclusive rights to the Zodiac Polaris seats in North America and Europe. United could certainly grant Lufthansa an exception or Lufthansa could choose the similar Recaro seat as seen on El Al.
Wow! LH being a market leader as always! If they use those BA seats they would be going backwards over 10+ years.