Lufthansa Airbus A380 and Boeing 747-8I at Frankfurt Airport. By Kurt Hofmann
Lufthansa will unveil a new premium-economy class in 2014, board member Jens Bischof told journalists at the ITB tourism fair in Berlin.
Bischof told ATW, “The introduction of the new class onboard a first aircraft is also most likely planned next year and will add “above 10% capacity” on every long-haul aircraft that offers the new product. He said the carrier has invested a “high double-digit million euro amount in the new product.” Details will be announced later in the year.
Currently, Lufthansa’s long-haul fleet is undergoing a re-configuration, featuring a new business class product. So far just four Boeing 747-8Is and four Airbus A330-300s offer the new business class. “This number should rise to 30 aircraft and the total long-haul fleet will be completed by 2015,” he said. Lufthansa is investing €50 million ($65.2 million) in its long-haul fleet to complete the reconfiguration as fast as possible.
Lufthansa, which has 19 747-8Is on order, will take delivery of its fifth of the type this month.
Lufthansa will also extend its Internet onboard services, FlyNet, to most of its long-haul aircraft, except the A380s.
Bischof told ATW that Lufthansa is further restructuring its European regional aircraft. “We are currently evaluating [whether] to exit from the 70-seat aircraft. This includes the Air Dolomiti ATR 72 fleet as well as the [Bombardier] CRJ700s from Lufthansa CityLine,” he said.
Bischof added that using bigger aircraft will bring a better cost structure to the regionals, which will also bring changes. “When and in which form we replace these fleets we don’t now, but a decision is expected this year,” he said.
Lufthansa transported 75 million passengers last year, 60 million of them within Europe.