It has been more than three years since Lufthansa unveiled its new business class product…and we may never end up seeing it. Or maybe we’ll see it sooner than we expect. Either way, Lufthansa seems to be dithering on its new business class product.
Lufthansa Dithering On New Business Class Seat
In November 2017, Lufthansa unveiled its next-generation business class product, which was scheduled to debut on the Boeing 777-9 (also called the 777X) in 2020. In fact, it was on that basis that SkyTrax awarded Lufthansa its coveted (lol) five-star award.
In case you took a Rip Van Winkle approach to the pandemic, it’s 2021. Yet, the new business class product has not arrived. And with further delays to the 777-9 program, we won’t see Lufthansa take delivery until (at least) late 2023.
And that poses a dilemma for Lufthansa. While I had a lovely trip on Lufthansa recently, the business class seats were already obsolete when they debuted almost a decade ago. Indeed, you fly Lufthansa business class for reasons of convenience or mileage accrual, not the seat.
But now Lufthansa faces a dilemma, complicated by COVID-19: wait for the 777-9, accelerate the “new” seat through a retrofit program, put it on other aircraft, or scrap it all together?
@xJonNYC shared a fairly cryptic update from Lufthansa:
“Lufthansa is among the group of launch customers for the Boeing 777-9, with delivery of the first 777-9 to Lufthansa scheduled for late 2023. It was previously planned for the first half of 2022.
“The plan was to introduce the B777-9 and the new Lufthansa Business Class together, but all time schedules are currently being reassessed.”
What exactly does that mean? Does being reassessed mean that Lufthansa may not wait for the 777-9 in order to debut its new business class…or might it mean that the new business class product might never appear at all?
Last week, I wrote about Lufthansa considering a downsize of future aircraft orders to better fit its needs in light of the changing world. If we read the statement above optimistically, perhaps Lufthansa could work in the new seat to potential A330neo orders or pending A350 and 787-9 deliveries.
> Read More: Lufthansa Wants To Swap Large Jets For Smaller Ones
Or maybe Lufthansa should use the time to come up with a truly industry-leading product, like Qatar Airways Qsuite.
It’s true that the whole world has changed and a new business class seat may no longer be a front-and-center issue for Lufthansa. Still, its current seat is just not all that comfortable and certainly not ideal for solo travelers. As other carriers continue to innovate their premium cabin products, Lufthansa cannot just stick with the status quo long-term.
But its latest message just leaves us guessing to the extent of Lufthansa’s dithering.