LUFTHANSA
has set its sights on overhauling short-haul business class once the
installation of its new flat bed on long-haul services is under way.

Chairman
Wolfgang Mayrhuber revealed short-haul is next on the hit list as he unveiled
the airline’s new £210 million business-class cabin.

The
German carrier has begun installing the new flat bed on its Airbus 340-600 and
A330-300 fleet with the first service to depart from Frankfurt to Buenos Aires
on December 18. The new bed will be fully installed within the next 18 months.

Mayrhuber
said: “We are determined to be innovative and a market leader in development,
and this new bed reflects that.”

He
added: “We have started a project dealing with the short-haul product and this is
our next big thing.”

The
airline has indicated it wants to cut short-haul costs by 20%, which Mayrhuber
suggested could be achieved by higher productivity from existing resources.

He
denied the new PrivateBed – which is 25% larger than its predecessor and
extends to two metres when flat – will result in fewer business-class seats
across the Lufthansa network. However, the cabin may be extended on more
popular routes and scaled down for destinations where there is less demand for
a business service.