Here's why Lufthansa's new A350 planes will offer the airline's best business-class seats
If you enjoy flying Lufthansa but are underwhelmed by its outdated premium seat offerings, then the news the airline has picked up four new aircraft should be encouraging.
The carrier is leasing four Airbus A350-900 jets to be put into service in 2022, and three of the planes come from Philippine Airlines, which recently filed for bankruptcy. The additional planes continue the airline's push to overhaul its fleet to make it more efficient for its long-haul and short-haul routes. The Airbus A350-900 reportedly consumes 0.66 gallons of fuel per passenger per 62 miles flown.
According to Simple Flying, that trio of planes from Philippine Air are no older than three years old. But here's why the addition of these three planes matters for business-class travellers. Those planes feature a 1-2-1 configuration, which provides a much better experience than the 2-2-2 setup found in many of Lufthansa's other long-haul aircraft.
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A consistent complaint about Lufthansa has been that its premium seat offerings are lacklustre. Travellers say the 2-2-2 configuration cuts down on privacy and storage, especially on longer routes. TPG has noted some of these shortcomings before in past reviews of long-haul Lufthansa flights. That review was of the business-class section on one of Lufthansa's old Boeing 747-8 aircraft.
Related: Lufthansa flying its Boeing 747, Airbus A350 on select intra-Europe routes
However, the A350-900 jet Lufthansa is getting from Philippine Airlines received strong reviews from us on the epic route from Manila to New York City (JFK) for its staggered 1-2-1 business-class setup within a single cabin of 30 seats, with four per row. That configuration offers more privacy and direct aisle access. So once the new jets join the Lufthansa network, passengers will have this option.
Related: It just became much easier to book Lufthansa first-class awards
Lufthansa has already placed orders in 2021 for 10 new aircraft to upgrade its long-haul fleet with more fuel-efficient planes. It bought five Airbus A350-900 and five Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft to replace the carrier's four-engine Airbus A340 jets, which burn up a much greater amount of fuel than the incoming planes. Over the past decade, Lufthansa has made commitments to buy 175 new aeroplanes. The new arrivals have pushed the A380 from the fleet and also aided the gradual phase-out of the Boeing 747