Lufthansa has become another in a long line of airlines that are in the process of upgrading their fleet to match the growing technology that's seen a dramatic change in how passengers want to experience their flight.
And luckily for us, the German airline thought South Africa was special enough to get one of their first 12 A350-900s for their route between Munich and Cape Town, and one of the only three to be sporting Lufthansa's new yellow-free livery. It made its first landing on Sunday, just in time for the start of the summer season in South Africa.
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The new design has their iconic crane-logo more streamlined and exuding premium class, doing away with its previous yellow rendition which is now only used as an accent on signage in Lufthansa's hub airports and on their crews' uniforms.
The plane does scream premium - all the way from its classic Economy with its slimmer but comfortable seats and headrests, to the Premium Economy with its extra legroom and comfort, all the way to the Business Class with seats that snap down completely flat with a little extra roll-up mattress that will ensure passengers get their shut-eye on the long flight. It also has lights that have 14 shades of colour to mimic your biorhythm for a better sleep schedule.
The entertainment system throughout the classes also lets passengers sync up to it with their phones or tablets so that you can watch on a screen most comfortable for you.
Walking through it as the airport crew bustle to get the plane ready for its flight back to Munich, you are tempted to just want to stay on board - even in Economy - because everything just looks so comfortable.
What it does not have is First Class, as this leisure market is smaller for flights to Cape Town compared to Johannesburg's more corporate travellers, according to André Schulz, General Manager for Lufthansa's Southern African division.
"This is the most modern aircraft that we have, and this A350 is the best product experience we can offer from the Lufthansa group from a global perspective," Schulz told Traveller24.
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With a fuel consumption of just 2.9L per passenger per 100 kilometres, a dramatically reduced noise and CO2 emissions footprint, as well as enhanced cabin features, the A350 is the world’s most eco-efficient long-haul aircraft.
There are still 13 A350s to come online, and Lufthansa will also be getting the new Boeing 777x in 2020, where the Business Class configuration is designed so that every passenger has an aisle seat.
“We congratulate Lufthansa on this new offering and are honoured to be selected as the first African destination to receive this environmentally friendly and improved comfort aircraft," says Wesgro CEO Tim Harris.
"A 5% increase in two-way traffic between Germany and Cape Town International has already been recorded between January and September of this year, in comparison to that of 2017. We hope to see these numbers grow over the next year as we seek to boost travel, trade and tourism between Cape Town and Munich.”
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