Lufthansa Introduces New Business Class seat with full-flat, horizontal sleeping surface
6.5 feet long bed guarantees maximum sleeping comfort / Customers involved in development of the seat / 3-billion-euro investment in the new inflight product
Toronto, ON, March 8, 2012 – The new Lufthansa Business Class seat, which was revealed to the public today, boasts a full-flat, horizontal sleeping surface measuring 6.5 feet in length. The seat, which at the push of a button, converts to a comfortable bed, offers exceptional comfort as a flat bed or as an upright or reclining seat, with its intuitive adjustments, additional storage space and enhanced entertainment system. In a few weeks’ time, when the new Lufthansa Jumbo — the Boeing 747-8 — enters scheduled service, passengers will have their first opportunity to enjoy the features of Lufthansa’s new Business Class cabin.
“We integrated our customers very closely into the development of our new Business Class so we would be able to offer a product that was totally in line with their wishes and requirements,” said Jens Bischof, member of the Lufthansa German Airlines Board. Back in 2007, Lufthansa conducted a survey of more than 500 frequent flyers in order to find out their preferences and their requirements of a Business Class seat. Once the survey results were reviewed, the airline moved on to the next phase and developed various concepts with the aid of well-known ergonomics experts, designers and seat manufacturers. In 2010, an eight-week trial was conducted on the Frankfurt-New York-Frankfurt route. In all, 1,349 passengers and a specially recruited test crew evaluated the prototype on flights LH 400 and LH 401 in terms of comfort, ease of use and technical stability.
The outcome is a seat that meets the most discerning demands with regards to seating and sleeping comfort. “The horizontal sleeping surface is a crucial factor for our passengers. This request was the focus for all our other considerations. In addition, we have improved many details which, taken together, create maximum comfort,” Jens Bischof explained. These include ergonomically improved cushioning to ensure a high degree of comfort in a sitting or horizontal position, as well as adjustable armrests that provide more space in the shoulder area when lying down. Each sitting or horizontal position can be adjusted individually and continuously without the need for the passenger to stand up. Additionally, each passenger has more surfaces to place their personal items and additional storage compartments on the actual seat.
Another novel feature is the innovative seating arrangement in the form of a “V”. Two neighboring seats are angled towards one another along a central axis. This solution enabled Lufthansa to fulfill one of the main wishes expressed by customers – to sit or lie facing the direction of travel. This seating arrangement also enabled Lufthansa to virtually double the distance between two neighboring seats at shoulder level, which in the future will give Business Class passengers greater privacy.
The new Business Class seat is a major component of Lufthansa’s largest investment to date in its inflight product. Over the next few years, some three billion euros will be channeled into product improvements for passengers. The new seat rounds off the travel experience for Business Class passengers perfectly – from dedicated check-in counters and additional free baggage allowances to fast-track security lanes, access to Lufthansa lounges worldwide and preferential boarding through to exclusive inflight menus and the excellent service provided by the cabin crew. “All of that shows that we are offering our Business Class customers an exceptional experience at every step of the travel chain,” said Jens Bischof. Retrofitting Lufthansa’s entire long-haul fleet of more than 100 aircraft is expected to take four years.
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One of the world’s largest and most prestigious airlines, Lufthansa currently flies to 211 destinations in 84 countries, with hubs in Frankfurt, Munich, and with its recent acquisition of Austrian Airlines and SWISS – Vienna and Zurich. From its 22 North American gateways, Lufthansa— recently voted by Fortune as one of the five most admired airlines in the world— and its partners serve over 450 destinations in more than 120 countries. An industry innovator, Lufthansa has long been committed to environmental care and sustainability, operating the most technically-advanced and fuel-efficient fleet in the world. Its long-haul fleet to and from North America includes the Boeing 747-400, as well as the Airbus A300 sub fleet. Currently, Lufthansa has over 150 new aircraft worth about $18 billion on order. It will be the largest European operator
of the A380 and is also the launch customer for the new Boeing 747-8, the industries’ two most fuel-efficient passenger aircraft. Known for its premium services, Lufthansa continues its $150 million program earmarked for building new or upgrading existing lounge facilities across its worldwide network and will spend more than $1.4 billion in new onboard products and services by 2015. In 2010, Lufthansa re-launched its broadband wireless Internet service onboard, FlyNet. For more information or reservations, visit www.lufthansa.com.