Lufthansa has pulled back the curtain on its second-generation premium economy seat, which will debut on the German airline's Boeing 777-9 jets from late 2020.
A first look at the streamlined seat was shared during Lufthansa's annual Capital Markets Day as the airline talked up the success of the better-than-economy cabin, which it rates as its most productive when measured in terms of 'revenue per square metre' (sitting at 6% higher than the more spacious business class cabin).
Lufthansa's new premium economy seat will also be shared with sibling Swiss, where it will appear on the Boeing 777-300 and Airbus A340 jets from early 2021.
For comparison, here is Lufthansa's current premium economy seat.
First indications are that Lufthansa's Boeing 777X premium economy seat will come with a larger video screen and a larger storage nook below that upsized display, as well as a full-height panel between the aisle passenger and the aisle itself.
The physical seat design also implies that passengers will recline their seat within a 'fixed shell' rather than into the space of the traveller behind them.
As previously reported, Lufthansa's Boeing 777-9 fleet will also sport an all-new business class seat which will finally provide direct aisle access for every passenger: no more awkwardly stepping over your sleeping seatmate – or having them clamber across you, if you're next to the aisle.
The layout alternates between rows of 1-2-1 and 1-1-1, as shown below.
The former sees two passengers seated side by side, although both seats are angled away from one another. A privacy screen between the seats which can be lowered for some travelling tête-à-tête, although you'll still need to swivel towards your companion.
Meanwhile, the 1-1-1 rows provide a centre 'throne' seat which is likely to be highly sought-after, not only for the additional privacy it offers but the added personal space on either side of the passenger.
Lufthansa also plans to change the way it sells business class, moving from a one-size-fits-all business class cabin to a more bespoke offering tailored to individual needs and price points, including paying more to select a better seat – such as those solo 'thrones' – within the cabin along with bundled packages of services such as inflight WiFi.
“It's not just one business class anymore," Lufthansa exec Harry Hohmeister tells Australian Business Traveller. "Within the (Boeing 777X) business class cabin, you can upgrade yourself to an even better product than just standard business class… it’s a real jump forward in terms of convenience, and in terms of product selection... it's not unbundling, it's upgrading.”