Lufthansa Group will further invest in the China market and bring its latest products to the region, said Alain Chisari, vice president sales in Asia Pacific, according to a press release from the airline.
Passengers travelling from Shanghai to Zurich, Frankfurt and Munich will be able to experience the new products next year. Swiss International Air Lines (Swiss), which has been renovating its Airbus A340 fleet, will use a revamped A340 aircraft on its daily non-stop Shanghai-Zurich service early next year.
The refurbished aircraft features new seat products in all the three travel classes, a new in-flight entertainment system that also offers internet connectivity, and a new interior design. Business Traveller Asia-Pacific previously reported on the airline’s new first and business class seats.
Lufthansa also plans to deploy two A380 aircraft for its Shanghai-Frankfurt and Shanghai-Munich routes. The German flag carrier’s A380 aircraft has two decks with 509 seats divided in four classes.
As can be seen on its official seat map, the aircraft’s upper deck is outfitted with eight first class seats in a 1-2-1 layout, 78 business class seats configured in a 2-2-2 layout and 35 economy class seats in a 2-4-2 layout; while the main deck has 52 premium economy seats laid out in 2-4-2 and 336 economy class seats in a 3-4-3 configuration.
Lufthansa now flies twice daily between Shanghai and Frankfurt. One of the two round-trip flights (LH728 and LH729) is already using the A380 superjumbo, while the other (LH732 and LH733) is currently operated by a 371-seater Boeing 747-400 aircraft. As for its Shanghai-Munich service, Lufthansa currently uses an A340-600 aircraft that provides seating for 297 passengers.
In March this year, the Supervisory Board of Lufthansa Group approved the purchase of 20 Boeing 787-9 and 20 additional Airbus A350-900 aircraft, which are expected for delivery between late 2022 and 2027, and will gradually replace the Group’s four-engine aircraft.
Lufthansa Group’s corporate digitisation unit, Lufthansa Innovation Hub, will also open a new office in Shanghai in 2020, which will be its third office around the world. Lufthansa Innovation Hub has its main office in Berlin and a Singapore office that opened just in January this year.
“Asia Pacific is growing at an exponential rate and I’m very proud of being part of driving and leading Lufthansa Group Airlines in Asia Pacific into continuing success. China is the heart of the Asia Pacific region. That’s why we always deploy the latest products and services to China routes,” said Chisari at a media event held by Lufthansa Group in Shanghai on Wednesday, according to a press release from Lufthansa.
Lufthansa and the Group’s major airline subsidiaries Swiss and Austrian Airlines are now operating 93 weekly flights connecting its four Europe hubs (Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna and Zurich) with six cities in China (Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Nanjing, Qingdao and Shenyang).
At the same time, all the three carriers have been codesharing with different Chinese domestic airlines such as Air China and China Southern Airlines. Lufthansa and Swiss have also expanded their codeshare partnership with Hong Kong flag carrier Cathay Pacific recently.