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Lufthansa to leave some business class seats empty
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Lufthansa to leave some business class seats empty


German airline Deutsche Lufthansa plans to keep some business-class seats empty on all European flights to attract customers by offering more room, the carrier said today.

Passengers will find the neighbouring seat on all Lufthansa regional flights on domestic and European routes will be kept free in business class from the end of October, when the winter timetable begins.

The service would be unique in Europe, said Lufthansa, which has already been leaving the middle seats free in business class on short- and medium-range aircraft at its main passenger airline since 2004.

The empty-seat strategy will be expanded to business class on ‘‘Lufthansa Regional’’ flights, which include Air Dolomiti, Augsburg Airways, Lufthansa CityLine, Contact Air and Eurowings services.

Business passengers willing to pay more for in-flight frills and convenient flying times are key to profitability at the airline, but Lufthansa hopes leaving a portion of business seats empty rather than trying to fill its planes completely will give it an advantage over competitors.

‘‘Obviously it makes economic sense, otherwise we wouldn’t be doing it,’’ said a Lufthansa spokeswoman. ‘‘It is an advantage in terms of quality.’’

She added that Lufthansa did not need to raise ticket prices to compensate for empty seats.

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