New premium offering billed as “first low-cost airline” business class in Europe
After purchasing parts of Air Berlin in their bankruptcy, Lufthansa Group has unveiled the next step of their plan to expand low-cost subsidiary Eurowings. In a bilingual press release, the German airline operator announced the launch of “BIZclass” business class on select long-haul flights in Europe.
The first glimpses of Eurowings’ premium cabin offering were posted by the company to their Facebook and Twitter pages. In keeping with the spirit of a low-cost carrier, the seats appear to be installed in a 2-2-2 configuration, giving only the inside seats direct aisle access. Each of the seats can be reconfigured into a six-foot long full lay flat seat, which is a key differentiator from the traditional economy seat.
“Eurowings will…be able to offer seats with more legroom, more service and, of course, a larger seat,” their press release reads. “The existing Eurowings booking classes Basic, Smart and Best will remain unchanged.”
More importantly, the addition of BIZclass as a premium product could mark the airline’s expansion into the United States. The potential for Eurowings to fly into more American destinations with a business class product would coincide with the start of Joon, a new product by competitor Air France-KLM targeting budget-savvy Millennials.
“We see strong demand for another top product from our company on routes with a higher proportion of business travel, for example on US flights from Düsseldorf to New York, Miami or Fort Myers,” Oliver Wagner, COO of Eurowings, said in a statement. “We’ll be entering the BIZclass race with our usual budget-priced Eurowings tickets.”
Although the teaser photo shows what a cabin could look like, the airline has not announced final plans for the seats or configuration. Executives at the low-cost airline said they were “fine-tuning” the product with more to come before the debut at ITB Berlin in 2018. The first flight featuring BIZclass is expected to depart at the end of April 2018.