Allegris First Class seat for Lufthansa is navy blue with wood like details.

Allegris first class moves the Lufthansa premium product needle


BERLIN — Inside the cavernous Kraftwerk club space, a refurbished East German power station, Lufthansa this week launched its next-generation first class suite product, part of the Allegris cabin generation, which PriestmanGoode designed and Collins Aerospace will manufacture.

There are several notable aspects of the product: it’s Lufthansa’s first suite, the centre section offers a two-seater sofa that converts into a double bed, there’s an interesting new flexible door, and the new colour, materials and finish of the product give a sign of where the airline is heading.

To start with, it’s notable that this is mainline Lufthansa’s first suite, although Swiss has been offering a suite product since the arrival of its Boeing 777-300ER in 2016. Doored first class suites are now nearly 20 years old, so it’s good to see Lufthansa catching up — and, with the higher walls and higher doors, even moving past — the competition.

Indeed, those doors are very interesting in and of themselves. They are, in essence, very thick, almost rigid, sliding fabric panels suspended from a pelmet over the top of the suite walls, and close together using magnets.

A hand is holding a part of the suite door that is fabric-based and semi-flexible.

The semi-flexible doors are really very impressive. Image: John Walton

Manufactured by Sabeti Wain, these are very impressive both in terms of their elegance and in terms of their sound deadening performance. Even over the hustle, bustle and thumping club beats of an echoing former power station where the product was unveiled, they cut the noise significantly when closed.

Also newly unveiled was the two-seater sofa converting to a double bed in the centre section of the cabin, which Lufthansa is branding as its First Class Suite Plus.

Lufthansa Allegris First Class two-seater sofa in centre section. Image John WaltonThis was the only one of the first class suites on show, and only as a non-converting mockup, but it was impressive. Not since the Etihad Residence has the needle been moved in partner first class leisure travel this much, and Lufthansa is to be praised for pushing the boat out here.

Allegris First Class supporting the ability to sit beside one's partner in the suite, and engage in partner dining.

The mockup didn’t convert fully to bed mode. Image: John Walton

(Your author promises that he had no knowledge that Lufthansa would reveal a double bed loveseat the week after suggesting that Qantas do the same.)

Lufthansa wouldn’t be drawn at the event about the commercialisation of this product, and indeed it has not responded to questions on the topic since. The pricing and booking situation in particular remains opaque: one assumes that it wouldn’t be sold to two people who don’t know each other, but is it exactly two first class fares for two passengers? Can it be booked by only one person with a reduced single supplement? Given that it fits four in seating mode, will non-first class passengers (children travelling further back with the nanny, perhaps?) be permitted to join during the flight? 

In any case, the overall impression of the suite is superb. The colour, materials and finish feel very luxurious, and are a real upgrade to the current product while also setting Lufthansa apart from its more outré and flashy competitors. The details, too, are both clever and delightful. When in partner dining mode, the ottoman slides forwards and the backrest pivots upwards and outwards, both for comfort and to avoid leaning on the large screen. There’s also a nod to Lufthansa’s history, with a repeating pattern based on the wings of its iconic crane.

Outside the First Class seat one can see the interesting wood-accented design.

The overall look and feel is excellent. Image: John Walton

As with the rest of the cabins, while the look and feel of this cabin as the Allegris sub-brand will be Lufthansa-exclusive, the bones of this hard product will be shared across the Lufthansa Group airlines — here, really, Swiss, the only other of the airlines to offer a first class product. The group-wide generation in called FICE, for Future Inter-Continental Experience.


Lufthansa also didn’t confirm which aircraft will see the new suites, although this will include the A350 and, in a modified form, the 747-8. A jumbo-sized question is what the latter will look like, especially for the double bed Plus product, given that the first class aboard the 747-8 is in the nose. We might presume that the 777X will also be included, as well as the 777-300ERs of Swiss, but this remains unconfirmed.

The big issue for Lufthansa, however, remains the airline’s need to keep a passenger experience gap between the luxury of its new first class and the more workaday new business product.

This gap makes some sense if the first class product is deployed extensively, but hamstringing the opportunity for business class to feel luxurious for a first class that isn’t widely available doesn’t seem worth it.

Lufthansa flew Runway Girl Network’s journalist from Lyon to Berlin for this event, and arranged a hotel, but as ever all views are those of the author.

Related Articles:

All images credited to the author, John Walton