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Bits: Emirates to fly Larnaca-Athens, Lufty boosts short-haul business legroom – will BA follow?

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News in brief:

Emirates to launch Larnaca to Athens service!

Emirates has announced that it will be launching a service from Athens to Larnaca in Cyprus from 1st March.  This is a tag to the new Dubai to Larnaca service.

If you’ve ever wanted to try the Emirates First Class Suite, this may be an interesting opportunity.  It will presumably be a relatively cheap Emirates Skywards redemption and you could use Reward Flight Saver with Avios to get to/from Athens and Larnaca.  Cash tickets should also be good value although tickets are not yet available for purchase.

As the aircraft will be a Boeing 777-300ER, you won’t get the on-board bar or First Class showers.  It is the same First Class Suite as used on the A380, I think.

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Lufthansa announces interesting legroom changes on short-haul

When British Airways slashed the leg room on its short-haul aircraft last year, it wasn’t setting a precedent.  Lufthansa led the way here, including the use of a super-slim (and not hugely comfy) seat to increase density.  The photo above was taken by me on my last Lufthansa business class flight.

Lufthansa also beat BA in the race to be the first to slash Business Class legroom to the same as Economy.

Now, however, it has changed its mind.

100 A320 neo (‘neo’ stands for ‘new engine option’, a more fuel efficient version of the aircraft) are arriving over the next few years – the first will be officially handed over at the end of this month.

According to Business Traveller, on these aircraft Lufthansa is increasing seat pitch in Business Class from the current 76cm – the same as BA – to 81 cm.

Worryingly, however, it is reduced the seat pitch in Economy even further to just 74 cm.  This will put Lufthansa below even Ryanair in the legroom stakes.  It is possible that the last three rows, if they follow the Brussels Airlines model, will be as tight as 71 cm.

The move may put some pressure on British Airways to reverse the leg-room cut in Club Europe, one of the most unpopular moves it has made in recent years.  If there is any sign of long-haul passengers choosing to connect in Frankfurt rather than Heathrow because they know they will have a more comfortable connection, BA may need to react.

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