By Richard Weiss / Bloomberg
Deutsche Lufthansa will offer business-class seats that stretch to 7 feet in new Boeing Co. 777 jets, aiming to boost the corporate appeal of a carrier that has only recently embraced flat-bed berths.
Passengers will be able to choose between six different setups in the business cabin, including a paired layout, an enhanced-privacy variant and one that offers slightly less snooze room while featuring more storage and work space. All but the extra-long berth will measure a standard 6 feet 6 inches.
Lufthansa came late to the flat-bed revolution, rolling the seats out in business class only in 2013, more than a decade after pioneer British Airways. The multi-option business berth set to debut on the new 777-9 fleet from 2020 should help the carrier enhance its credentials as an innovator as it seeks to become the first in Europe awarded five stars by the Skytrax ratings service.
All of the seats will also have direct aisle access, overcoming the need for some premium passengers to clamber past others, a requirement many airlines have already eradicated.
While the final layout of Lufthansa’s 34 ordered 777-9s hasn’t been decided, the carrier said they’ll accommodate 45 to 60 business passengers, but feature no first-class cabin. The 747-400s and Airbus A340-600s that the jets are due to replace do have the top-end product, though it has already been dropped from an A350 fleet partway through delivery.
The new versions of the popular 777 model will be the industry’s largest-ever twin-engine jetliners, with the top-of-the-range -9 variant being the priciest civil model on offer from Boeing. ANA Holdings Inc., Cathay Pacific Airways Plc, Emirates, Etihad Airways PJSC, Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines Ltd. have also ordered the plane, giving an order book of 326.