Lufthansa’s short and medium-haul fleet undergo cabin revamp
Saturday 18, December 2010
The figures by themselves are impressive: Lufthansa is installing some 32,000 new seats on more than 180 aircraft in its short and medium-haul fleet – within the space of just one year.
This will create a new travel experience and ensure greater passenger comfort. Thanks to the new, ergonomically shaped seat with its slim backrest, passengers will now have more than four centimetres extra legroom. As part of the new inflight service concept, passengers travelling in Economy Class will again be offered snacks such as muesli bars and chocolate, even on domestic routes.
“With our new, more comfortable seats, completely revamped cabin and enhanced inflight service, we are setting new standards on European routes,“ said Thierry Antinori, member of the Lufthansa German Airlines Board, presenting the new cabin today in Frankfurt. “The slimmer seats will also enable us to increase the seating capacity of our short and medium-haul fleet and thus ensure that we remain competitive in future.”
As the newly designed Recaro seats take up less room than the previous seats, up to two additional rows of seats can be installed on each aircraft. Lufthansa will thus be able to offer about 2,000 additional seats, which is equivalent to the capacity of twelve Airbus A320s. The new cabin on European routes will thus not only raise levels of passenger comfort but also make a substantial contribution towards improving cost efficiency. In all, Lufthansa is investing about 170 million euros in its new cabin as part of a comprehensive programme to revamp the airline’s inflight product.
In order to provide enough cabin stowage space for all passengers, the backs of the new seats have been designed with a different angle of inclination, so that the permitted cabin luggage trolleys fit effortlessly under the seat in front. In the case of Lufthansa’s Boeing 737 fleet, the overhead bins have been redesigned and made deeper, so that in future hand luggage can also be stowed sideways to the direction of travel – as has long since been possible on Airbus models.
The new seat is also a real bonus from an ecological point of view. Thanks to the materials used and the seat’s innovative structure, each row of seats is more than twelve kg lighter than the previous seat rows. That is equivalent to an almost 30 per cent reduction in weight, which in turns lowers specific fuel consumption. In spite of the additional rows of seats in the cabin, the empty weight of a Boeing 737, for example, is thus reduced by more than 300 kg. In addition, the Lufthansa Group is pioneering the use of a lighter, chrome-free – and thus more environmentally friendly – leather for the seat upholstery. The interior of the backrest is perforated, which ensures high breathability and also boosts seating comfort.
Lufthansa is also making innovations in its inflight service, and passengers will notice a tangible difference. Economy Class passengers travelling on domestic routes will not just be offered the usual wide selection of beverages, but will also be served a snack. On cross-border European services with a flight time of more than two hours, they will be offered a hot meal. In future, on its European routes, Lufthansa will cooperate with renowned chefs. The first one to create menus as part of Lufthansa’s new inflight service is the German star-rated chef Heiko Antoniewicz.
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