Thursday, May 13, 2010
Lufthansa has officially revealed details of the configuration of its Airbus A 380 cabin which is revealed to be seating 526 passengers in a 3 class configuration. The layout calls for the entire upper deck to be an exclusive premium cabin with 8 first class + 98 business class seats. The lower cabin will only cost of 420 economy class seats. LH though has not revealed the exact seat product features of its premium cabin on board this cabin but it has left many industry on lookers surprised with the number of business class seats it is installing on board considering the worldwide economic climate forecasted for the next three years. The initial routes that LH's A 380s are going to be deployed on are Tokyo, JFK, Delhi, Bangkok, Jo'Burg, Bangkok and China.
98 business class seats means someone in LH's business strategy planning is banking on a strong turnaround for the worldwide economy during the next 3 years. Best of luck to them in trying to get a decent load factor. However there are 2 ways in which one can look at this cabin configuration especially of the business class.
1. In its B 744s, LH has 80 business class seats installed and with the A 380 being positioned as an aircraft capable of carrying 25% more passengers, therefore one may feel that the LH planning department folks have taken the safe route by increasing J class cabin size accordingly.
2. However, one may also feel that by having a large J class A 380 cabin on routes to China, BKK, SIN, HKG, NRT, JNB and DEL in particular, LH will be trying to poach away a size able chunk of the J class market share that currently EK/EY/QR/WY/TK/RJ/MS enjoy out of Germany/Europe due to their cheaper prices. One shall not be surprised to see out of these 98 J class seats, at least 20-24 being reserved in the lowest fare inventory category matching the cheap J class fares of the Arab carriers/TK/RJ/MS and KLM on key Asian/African routes in order to 'regain' vital market share!
Lufthansa has officially announced that it will be flying year round flights to YUL-Montreal instead of summer seasonal only from its secondary Munich hub. Flights shall be operating 5 times per week nonstop using an Airbus A 330-300. Other changes announced out of its MUC hub for the IATA Winter 2010 season are as follows:
DEL - capacity increased from daily A 343 to daily A 346.
DXB - capacity increased from daily A 343 to daily A 346.
RUH - 3 weekly nonstop flights using a B 738 to continue year round.
TAS - 3 weekly nonstop flights using a B 738 to continue year round.
LH has also officially announced that it will be increasing its flights to Abu Dhabi and Muscat from Frankfurt effective Oct 31st 2010 with an additional weekly flight being flown as FRA-AUH-MCT. Thus this route becomes a daily operated flight using an Airbus A 330-300.
In addition, LH too confirmed that it shall be increasing capacity on its new route to EBL-Erbil, Iraq from the on set of the IATA Winter 2010 season. Currently, flights are operated nonstop from its main FRA hub 5 times per week using an Airbus A 319. However from Oct 31st onwards, LH will be increasing services to daily nonstop on this sector using a larger Airbus A 320 which seats 38 more passengers than its A 319s.