Lufthansa 737 long-haul

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This topic contains 36 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by  KSHaggag 9 Oct 2015
at 14:57

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  • Anonymous


    The notification that LH are planning to roster a 737 on their Nairobi service deserves a thread of its own, I think. Thanks, Graham, for alerting us to this move

    I guess this is similar to BA’s use of 321s on mid-haul routes and the question really is how the Privatair aircraft will be configured. Does anyone know what the seats will be like in both Business and Economy? 8 hours in a regular Economy seat on a 737 sounds like hell!!

    I guess were this a BA ‘service enhancement’, posters would have latched (very critically) onto it. Is this going to become the norm for LH’s thinner long-haul routes?


    Hello Tom

    Lufthansa has not publicised this development. But if you refer to you will see the aircraft type displayed as a B737.

    We understand that this B737 will be operated in a two-class configuration with 86 seats.

    It would suggest the seating will be the same as that provided by Privatair on the B737 which it is leasing to SAS for the Copenhagen-New York route.


    I’ve used the Privatair BBJ2 (737-800) on Lufthansa services to the Middle East. Edit: The 737 LH will use is a BBJ, not a BBJ2.

    In business, it is perfectly acceptable, with 2×2 business class seats (slopey ones when I used it.)

    In eco, well it is a 738 – but is that really worse than 10 across on a 773?

    I’ve also done the ME on Transavia and Norwegian, both using 738s – the former was okay with a middle seat free (by luck) and the latter allowed the purchase of seats with the middle one empty (up to rwo 10 or something – given that DY’s eco seats give appreciable legroom, it was quite okay.


    I’ve been on the Privatair operated LH flight from Frankfurt to Accra before. I though it was quite comfortable.


    Although I deplore scheduling a B737 on a flight this long the reality is that Lufthansa is probably ‘trying its luck’. As ever if they can find enough people prepared to put up with it then they will continue.

    I increasingly see a large and growing divide between leisure travelers and business flyers in regard to what each group is prepared to accept. My sister in law and her husband who fly once a year make a choice of flight/airline based 100% on price – the factors that would drive the choices of posters here simply do not enter into their calculations. For me flight timing and comfort of the experience are now increasingly important as I fly so often. The question is will the airline industry continue to service people like us without charging massive amounts ?


    And SAS today announced it will fly the same aircraft year-round between Copenhagen and Boston from March:


    Thank you Gentlemen for raising this topic : I frankly was not aware that LH was planning to fly to Nairobi with a Privatair BBJ ..I thought it would be a low density Business class A343.
    I did fly LH from Munich to Cairo in a Privatair in Business Class four years ago and was delighted by the comfort of the cabin in Business .It felt like a private jet and I will be happy to repeat it .


    I’ve flown the Privatair 737 (all Business config) to Newark when operated for Swiss. I found the seats as comfortable as the 330/340 except when you made a bed it seemed you were sleeping on the floor and it felt rather strange. My only criticism was the very small bathroom.

    However, I think this is a step backwards for LH. Swiss also fly the route ex Zurich but I’ve no idea how the loads are, but I would have thought they could combine the route? How many will now desert LH to use the ME3 or Turkish which is not only cheaper but with a larger and more comfortable plane?


    Dear LP ,you are perfectly right .

    In other words ,I really wonder why why on Earth does LH launch such a route while their smaller Swiss is traditionally successful there ?!!! They could have increased the Swiss frequency on the route instead of taking the risk of operating with their own aircraft ,let alone with a leased Privatair ?!!!! If Swiss is successful to NBO ,this is no guarantee that LH will also make money on the route ….LH took Swiss away from Africa where Swissair was a star but when LH launched Libreville it did not work !!!!
    AF is doing the same with KLM and competing with them in their best markets e,g. kuala ,Panama ,etc…..the result …AF is pulling out of Kuala shortly …..


    I flew to/from Frankfurt and Accra 2 years ago on the Privatair 737, in both Economy on the outbound (day) flight and in Business on the return (overnight) flight and both classes were pretty acceptable. Economy had decent seat room to tolerate a 6+ hour flight, but the Business Class seat had an inclined flat-bed seat, which I do not like very much as you slide down the bed during the night. If LH installs the new Business Class seats in these Privatair 737s, I think I would take those flights again, now to Nairobi as well. Otherwise, hello BA again to these cities, where they fly comfy 747s.


    I think the big story here is the huge capacity cut. Going from 279 to 86 seats just shows that bookings must have been pretty poor. I wonder how long this will last till it gets axed. And to think that they pushed Brussels out of the market to ply the route with a 737…

    @LP Swiss have very good yields on the route especially in the premium cabins.


    BOOM. And Lufty raise the ante in this relentless race to the bottom of the airline industry! Who needs 787’s and A350’s when you can just re-configure old 737’s to do the longhaul stuff for you.


    Not sure why LH do not do a triangular or tag route (Neither have BA which has pulled out of both EBB and DAR). SN and LX both do triangular routes across East Africa, and LH’s only other East African service to ADD is via JED. TK use 738 aircraft to East Africa, and I avoid them for that reason (They started with a leased BD A330 three times a week on a tag route to EBB and DAR, before going daily with the 738). I would certainly not want to do the 8 hours to NBO on a narrow body aircraft. Interesting though, apart from EK, the other two ME3 airlines also fly narrow bodies to East Africa.


    KSH, I hadn’t realised Swiss don’t have a daily service, so yes they could increase it to daily and feed it from MUC and FRA. Times are convenient leaving ZRH at 0955 and getting back at 0615. They’re clever as they actually fly NBO – DAR then straight back to ZRH.

    Just chatting to a friend who’s close to Swiss / Privatair, and the rumour is Swiss will increase to daily from March. Perhaps that’s when LH will stop the route and sell the Swiss flight instead?

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