11 Responses

  1. longtimeobserver
    longtimeobserver at |

    More and more passengers forced to endure a downgraded economy product — indistinguishable from low cost/low service/charter carriers — is bad for “full-service” industry consumer sentiment.

  2. NB
    NB at |

    Although I travel for business regularly, the fare effectively comes out of my profits, so essentially I pay my own fares, with the help of the taxman. I’m therefore focused on the cheap cabin, so, to me, the PE thing is bad on two counts: first, an upgrade will tend only to be to PE, rather than to Business; and second, the award redemption necessary for PE will probably mean that a similar award to Business is inflated.

    However, I do realise that I get what I pay for. I’m very motivated by lower fares and it’s only logical that I should “pay” for that with less space and fewer amenities.

  3. NZ
    NZ at |

    LOT uses Lufthansa’s frequent flyer program rather than its own, but it is NOT part of the Lufthansa Group (it’s state-owned). Also, the article states “Flying the same plane with fewer seats makes it harder to be profitable.” While that’s true in a general sense, that’s not really an argument for why flat beds in business are bad for airlines, Lufthansa in particular. Compare the layout of Lufthansa’s new business class in the A330 with the old, and you’ll see they take up basically the same amount of sapce (because the feet of the passenger is now squeezed into the space between the passengers in front, rather than below the heads of the passenger in front as used to be the case) – with the new business class, the A330 has the same number of business seats and loses just 4 seats in coach. The real reason why flat beds in business might impact the bottom line is that it makes first class harder to justify.

  4. Trevor
    Trevor at |

    When you describe “premium economy” are you referring to something more similar to a UA E+ or to what Turkish did away with (which seemed quite nice). It seems like it is an overall downgrade for the aircraft, but opens up the potential for more folks to upgrade to more comfort, so maybe a wash?

  5. Stephan
    Stephan at |

    Franz epitomizes CEOs that are speeding up their companies’ slide to the bottom. LH is a prime example, so is AC. What they really want is to turn these airlines into LCCs as they enviously look at what O’Leary gets away with.

  6. NZ
    NZ at |

    @Seth: It depends not so much on aircraft as the type of seating the airline selects. And I don’t agree at all with generalizing that “the loss of density is real.” Examples:
    – As noted above, LH’s new configuration in an A330 has the same number of F seats, same in C, and 4 fewer in coach, for an overall decrease of less than 2% – not very signficant.
    – Austrian: the new 777 configuration with flat beds in C has 48 in C (vs 49 angled seats before) and the same number in coach as before (260).
    – For United’s 777, the new configuration has fewer seats in F and C but more seats in coach (esp. in Economy Plus) – the net is an increase in capacity, and that was done without going to the dreaded 3-4-3 configuration.
    – EVA’s new configuration 777-300ER’s (using basically teh same seat as Cathay’s best-in-class business seat, which feels very private and affords direct aisle access to every seat in business) has two more in business than the previous angled configuration and the same number in coach – with a reduction of just one row of premium economy (8 out of the previous 71 seats). Overall capacity decrease: about 1%.

  7. NZ
    NZ at |

    And to the larger point: Franz is not correct. The whole article is a lot of whining about why they can’t compete. Well, maybe they’d be more competitive if they had a CEO who could do more than respond to competitors’ moves (whether it’s premium economy or flat seats in business). Or is there something that entitles Lufthansa to thinking it should get away charging the same high fares for the same crappy product (they took nearly a decade before starting to refurbish their new C, and F took about as long), as the rest of the industry moves on?

  8. Oliver2002
    Oliver2002 at |

    The casual glance at the seatmap may give the impression that only 4 Y seats were lost. In reality some galley space, one lavatory and the connecting corridor between the aisles were taken out in the LH A330 in order to keep the number of new C seats the same at 48. If you look closer at the LH A346 and OS 772/763 layouts the picture is similar. The new seats are usually hevaier too. Add to that the fact that they have to retire seats that cost 100-150k US$ a pair withoin 5-8 years and not 10-15 as originally planned (with next to no resale value) also hurts financially.

  9. LH CEO is against lie flat bed in C class - FlyerTalk Forums

    […] Its part of the general wailing that inspite of more investments the yield is the same if not less. sbm12 had a nice take of it last night: http://blog.wandr.me/thewandering…usiness-class/ […]

  10. Some thoughts on Lufthansa's Premium Economy announcement | Wandering Aramean

    […] in-flight product adjustments seem to come almost in spite of itself. The carrier has bemoaned advances in the business class product standards and, only begrudgingly, has finally come up with a plan to remove the first class cabin from a […]