Lufthansa continues to redeploy its Airbus A380 superjumbo onto routes flying out of its Munich hub, with the airline’s Munich-Shanghai service due to get the aircraft this winter season.
According to the airline’s schedule, the aircraft is set to take over the route from the A340-600 that currently flies the route from October 28 onwards, significantly increasing seat capacity on the flights. Changing to the A380 will provide a sizeable boost to the business, premium economy and economy seat count, though the eight seats in first class remain the same.
The upgauge follows what Lufthansa has described as a “very successful” redeployment of five of its A380s at its Munich hub on routes serving Hong Kong, Beijing and Los Angeles back in March.
“We see further potential in Munich, especially with long-haul routes,” said Wilken Bormann, CEO of Lufthansa’s hub in Munich.
“If the underlying conditions are right, we would like to continue our growth story at the site.”
But the A380 doesn’t appear to be the only upgauge the Munich-Shanghai route will see this year. Ahead of the appearance of the A380, the route will see Lufthansa’s new three-class A350-900 take up the route on a temporary basis from May 31 until October 27.
The carrier introduced a similar temporary A350 deployment on its Munich-Hong Kong route ahead of the upgauge to the A380.
The shift to the A350-900 will effectively remove first class seating as an option on the Munich-Shanghai route for about five months during the summer. Unlike the A340-600 and A380, Lufthansa’s A350-900 has no first class cabin.
The Business class cabin on the A340-600 (56/44 seats), A350-900 (36/48 seats) and A380 (78 seats), meanwhile, all feature the same fully flat seat product in a 2-2-2 configuration. These seats recline to a two-metre-long flat bed with a 64-inch pitch when seated upright and a 20-inch width.
Premium economy, meanwhile, will go from a 2-3-2 configuration on the A340-600 (32 seats) and the A350-900 (21 seats) to a 2-4-2 layout on the A380 (52 seats).
Economy is laid out 2-4-2 on the A340-600 (189/213 seats), 3-3-3 on the A350-900 (262/224 seats) and 3-4-3 on the A380 (371 seats). The only exception on the A380 is the four upper-deck economy class rows that are laid out 2-4-2.
Lufthansa has been flying its A380 to Shanghai from its Frankfurt hub since 2013, and the upgauge at Munich means travellers flying into or out of the Chinese city can now expect a consistent product and service offering with the carrier on both routes.
Lufthansa continues to operate nine superjumbos at its Frankfurt hub.