Lufthansa has confirmed it is still expecting its first 777X to arrive next year. Despite the current challenges facing the world of aviation, the airline is still positive about the arrival of this new widebody. But what can passengers expect from the new plane?
Still confident in a 2021 delivery
Despite the challenges of the current environment for aviation, Lufthansa remains confident that it will receive its first Boeing 777X next year. Boeing is certainly pushing forwards with the testing schedule, and despite other clients not being so confident in the delivery timeline, the German flag carrier is making preparations to receive it into its fleet.
Lufthansa has a total of 20 Boeing 777-9s on the order books, to be delivered over the next few years. These will replace all of the airline’s 747-400s, which were planned to leave the fleet by 2025. However, due to the current crisis, some have been retired early and have already been making their way to the scrapyard.
Nevertheless, the airline is upbeat about its incoming widebodies, shirking rumors that some of the order would be swapped for 777 freighters instead. But what can we expect from Lufthansa’s 777X as future passengers of the beast?
Brand new business class
Most excitingly, Lufthansa plans to debut its brand-new business class on board the first 777-9. Strangely, despite the first 777-9 being some years away at the time, the product bumped Lufthansa up to a five-star airline, according to Skytrax, based on the concept alone. Very strange.
It certainly looks to be an awesome product. Every passenger gets that all important direct aisle access, and there are different seats for different beats. The repeating 1-1-1/1-2-1 configuration lets some people sit nearer the window, others have more working space, some to travel with a companion and some to enjoy the middle ‘throne’ of opulence.
The orientation and position of the seat is not the only choice available to business class travelers on the 777X. Different seats within the cabin offer slightly different benefits, including some which have slightly longer beds, and others which have more places to store things, for example. Personalization is being pushed as a selling point for this new cabin.
All mod cons
It’s not just the seat itself that has been improved. Lufthansa has been working hard to bring a new product to the 777X that is fit for the future. All the functions of the seat can be controlled from the passenger’s smartphone, making it easy to adjust things even when lying down.
That smartphone and other personal devices can be charged without any plugs at all, thanks to inbuilt QI functionality. Simply placing the device on the charging surface will keep the battery topped up, removing the need for ugly and inconvenient wires.
Most notably, the new business class seat has been specially designed for sleeping. The backrest of the seat is constructed in such a way that, when in bed mode, the sleeper’s shoulder can sink into the cushion, keeping the spine straighter even for side sleepers.
More than 500 Lufthansa passengers were involved in the development of the new business class product, and so far, it promises to be something really special. With the delivery of the 777X, we’ll get our first real-world look at the cabin, after which time it will be rolled out across other widebodies in the Lufthansa fleet.
New premium economy too
With slightly less fanfare, Lufthansa also announced a new premium economy seat for the 777X. The airline presented an image of the new product during its Capital Markets Day last year.
While we still await full details of the product, it looks to be a great choice. Large seatback screens are complemented by between-seat dividers for privacy. Those head height wings will make a huge difference to those looking to get some sleep on a long haul trip.
The product is not only going to appear on the 777-9, but will also be rolled out to SWISS on the 777-300 next year. There is also talk of it being retrofitted to SWISS’ A340s, which seems unusual seeing as those birds just completed a cabin refresh.
As yet, we don’t have any news on what economy travelers can expect. However, with new products in every other class, it would make sense if Lufthansa was also investing in something special for its largest cabin.
Are you looking forward to a long-haul on the giant 777X? Does Lufthansa’s business class look tempting? Let us know in the comments what you think.