Lufthansa revealed the first aircraft equipped with its new “Allegris” cabin updates on 25 April, more than a year late owing to supply chain and airframer delays.

The Airbus A350-900 – outfitted with new first-class, business-class, premium-economy and economy seats – is scheduled to begin carrying paying passengers on flights between Munich and Vancouver on 1 May.

Lufthansa’s roll out of Allegris to additional markets will proceed slowly, as it awaits new aircraft from both Airbus and Boeing. The airline’s flights from Munich to Chicago O’Hare, Shanghai Pudong and Toronto Pearson are scheduled to have the product later this year.

A Lufthansa A350 with its Allegris cabin update

Source: Edward Russell/FlightGlobal

Lufthansa’s new premium-economy seats on its first aircraft equipped with its the Allegris cabin update

“They say good things come to those who wait. But I probably speak for all of us when I say everyone’s patience is a little bit stretched over the last months and years,” Lufthansa CEO Jens Ritter said during an event at Munich International airport on Thursday.

Delivery delays at both Airbus and Boeing were the main cause of Allegris’ late arrival, he said. Lufthansa had previously expected the product to enter service last year. Supply chain logjams also contributed to delays.

The wait is not over. The Allegris-equipped A350 scheduled to enter service next month still lacks Lufthansa’s new Allegris first-class suites. (Travellers who venture to the front of the jet’s cabin will see signs reading “Lufthansa Allegris First Class Loading”.)

Lufthansa hopes in August or September to receive its first A350 with the suites. That jet will come new from Airbus, which will install the suites prior to delivery, known as a “line fit”. After that, Lufthansa Technik can install the suites on other aircraft.

The airline revealed its Allegris cabin-update programme in 2022, aiming at the time to have the product in service in 2023. It had also previously planned to have its entire 120-aircraft-strong intercontinental fleet updated with Allegris cabins by the end of 2025. It now hopes to have all long-haul aircraft updated by the end of 2027.

Ritter declines to say how much cash the delays have cost Lufthansa.

It is investing at least €2.5 billion ($2.67 billion) in Allegris. Carsten Spohr, Lufthansa Group CEO, said in March that capital investments, including in the onboard product, will total some €4.5 billion this year.

“We urgently need to ensure that our guests benefit further,” Spohr said. “For a variety of reasons, we have the greatest need to catch up.”

Allegris is Lufthansa’s response to the never-ending product one-upmanship among airlines to attract lucrative premium-fare travelers. The airline’s previous offering, unveiled in 2012, lacks the privacy and direct-aisle access in business class that is now standard.

A Lufthansa A350 with its Allegris cabin update

Source: Edward Russell/FlightGlobal

Lufthansa’s new Allegris economy seats

“We need to make sure our revenue does not drop, and therefore we need a new [product] to meet the needs of our passengers,” Ritter says.

Lufthansa is working with several suppliers on the Allegris project. Stelia Aerospace, Collins Aerospace and Thompson Aero are supplying business-class seats, Germany’s Zim Aircraft Seating is supplying premium-economy seats and Recarco Aircraft Seating, also German, is supplying economy seats, Lufthansa says.

All subsequent A350-900s delivered to Lufthansa will come with Allegris cabins. Boeing 787-9s are expected to begin arriving with the product at year-end, and within the next few years Lufthansa’s new A350-1000s and 777-9s will have the updated cabins.

The carrier plans to retrofit its A350s, 747-8s and 787s with Allegris when those jets are down for scheduled maintenance, and intends to install the new business, premium-economy and economy seats – but not the new first-class product – on its A380s.

Lufthansa’s Airbus A330s are to be updated with a different premium product, and its A340s and 747-400s will not receive Allegris cabins, as the carrier plans to begin retiring those in 2026.

The airline intends to install a variant of the Allegris cabin in long-haul aircraft operated by other carriers within Lufthansa Group, including Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Swiss International Air Lines.