Despite a number of airlines cutting their first class offering, Lufthansa is set to keep theirs. The German flag carrier has committed to keeping First at a leadership forum held in New York City last Friday. This comes following news that the first Lufthansa Boeing 777X will not have a first class cabin.
There had been concerns that the carrier was due to join the list ditching the cabin. These had been raised as the first Boeing 777-9 aircraft to be delivered to Lufthansa will not have first. A number of other carriers have been cutting their first class cabins in order to increase revenue. Examples include Asiana Airlines who are to completely cut the cabin and British Airways who will cut the cabin on select aircraft.
Why are airlines ditching first class?
Having a first class cabin can make or break a flight. If it is occupied to capacity, airlines are set to make a huge profit. However, should the cabin frequently be undersold, the airlines are effectively wasting space which could be utilised by more seating.
In fact, as first class seats get bigger, and turn into first class suites, they are taking up more space than ever. This could potentially exceed three rows of economy class seating. Looking at a specific example, British Airways is set to launch its new business class suite on the Airbus A350. As this is arguably better than their current first class offering, the carrier will not offer first class onboard the A350. Indeed, some Lufthansa Boeing 777X aircraft will not have a first class cabin either.
Lufthansa’s first class plan
According to The Points Guy, Lufthansa’s SVP for Sales, Heike Birlenbach, committed to keeping the first class product alive. She is quoted as saying, “There are certain destinations where there is definitely first class demand”. TPG goes on to add that while the group considers New York as a key first-class market, Canada will likely never have such demand.
Lufthansa is in the midst of a fleet overhaul which will bring cleaner, more efficient aircraft joining the fleet. The airline that is is expecting 221 new aircraft by 2027. They go on to add “These aircraft alone [will] help avoid 1.5 million tons of CO2 emissions per year”.
We know that the Boeing 777X aircraft to be delivered to Lufthansa will not come with a first class cabin at all. In fact, they will instead have a brand new business class cabin, with every seat having direct aisle access. The first of Lufthansa’s new Boeing 777-9 aircraft is making its way steadily through the Boeing production line.
As for the other aircraft, Lufthansa is yet to announce which aircraft will receive a new first class cabin, and which won’t. The airline is reportedly currently considering the number of aircraft which will have first.
Do you think first class is essential for Lufthansa? Let us know in the comments!