Lufthansa’s Boeing 747-8 aircraft are scheduled to receive the new Allegris cabin, but initially only in the lower deck – and initially not in first class. Installation also causes weight problems.
The plane is strong, proud and technically superior. “It also looks very good,” said Lufthansa President Carsten Spohr at the delivery of the last Boeing 747 at the beginning of the year. The German airline still has 27 jumbo jets, 19 of which are 747-8s. The damn good looks that make the 747 so special sometimes lead to problems – for example now when it comes to installing a new cabin.
Lufthansa’s Boeing 747-8 aircraft are set to get the new Allegris cabin, which the airline first introduced a year ago. However, according to current plans, the aircraft will initially have a hybrid cabin, as AeroTELEGRAPH has learned from several sources. The shape of the aircraft model, which has a narrower area on the upper deck, means that the seats have to adapt specifically to the aircraft. In the case of Lufthansa’s Boeing 747-8, Stelia Aerospace, a wholly owned subsidiary of Airbus, is responsible.
Hybrid taxi for two years
According to the current situation, the Lufthansa 747-8 will operate with a hybrid cabin for two years. This means: For now, the Allegris product will only be installed in the “main deck”, i.e. the lower passenger deck of the aircraft. And it’s not complete there either. In the first step, there will be a new business class, a new premium economy and a new economy class. But the first step at the front of the basement remains as it is for now.
According to the current plan, the upper deck, which contains only business class seats, will not be updated yet. The first class and upper deck would not be rebuilt until two years later. The weight of the new seats could also become an issue due to the 747-8’s fuselage.
Sharp increase in costs
Because: The seats in the new business and first class are much heavier than the previous ones. This can cause the aircraft’s center of gravity to shift and too much weight in the nose of the aircraft. To prevent this from happening, after the first Allegris seats were installed, 700 kg of additional weight had to be carried in the back – in the form of a panel or a water tank. After a complete diversion including first class and upper deck, the problem can get worse – no more cargo can be transported in the forward area.
According to information from aeroTELEGRAPH, all this means that the 747-8 cabin conversion costs will have to be rebudgeted. Due to the adjustments, these amounts appear to be 1,000% higher than the estimated expenditures and amount to a three-digit million. A decision on this matter will be taken soon at a meeting of the Supervisory Board. When asked by aeroTELEGRAPH, Lufthansa simply stated that no decision had been made yet.
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