Lufthansa becomes first European airline with 5-star Skytrax rating

FRANKFURT, Dec 4 (Reuters) - Lufthansa has become the first European airline to receive the coveted 5-star Skytrax airline rating, it said on Monday, an accolade which it hopes will help it to continue achieving higher yields for its premium products.

The German carrier has been investing billions in renewing its fleet and improving its cabins as it seeks to win customers in a fiercely competitive market and achieve the highest Skytrax rating.

Currently no European airlines hold a 5-star Skytrax rating, with the accolade previously being held by nine carriers including Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways, ANA All Nippon Airways, and Etihad Airways.

“This is the well-earned recognition of our major efforts to make Lufthansa one of the world’s leading premium airlines,” Lufthansa Chief Executive Carsten Spohr told journalists on Monday.

The upgrade comes after Lufthansa this summer received the Skytrax award for best European airline, snatching the title from Turkish Airlines.

As part of efforts to improve its business class appeal, Lufthansa last week gave a preview of its new business class seats and cabin that will be available on its Boeing 777 aircraft from 2020, with online reviewers welcoming the layout giving all passengers direct aisle access. (Reporting by Patricia Weiss; Writing by Victoria Bryan)