Lufthansa Group Orders 40 New Airbus and Boeing Wide-Bodies to Replace Some A380s

Mar 13, 2019

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The Lufthansa Group has placed a huge order for 40 new Airbus and Boeing wide-body jets to replace some of its superjumbo Airbus A380s.

The Group, which owns Lufthansa, SWISS, Brussels Airlines and Austrian Airlines, among others, has ordered 20 Boeing 787-9s and 20 Airbus A350-900s which will be delivered between late 2022 and 2027.

Rendering of Boeing 787s in Lufthansa, SWISS and Austrian livery. Image courtesy of Lufthansa Group.

It will be the first time any of the airlines in the group operate a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The A350 order will add to the 12 A350-900s Lufthansa has in service and 25 it has on order.

It’s unclear what subsidiaries will operate the new aircraft, but it’s possible they’ll replace Austrian’s aging fleet of Boeing 767s and 777s or SWISS’ and Lufthansa’s A340s.

The Boeing 787-9 is the midsize Dreamliner, larger than the 787-8 but smaller than the 787-10, and typically seats about 290 people in a two-class configuration.

The 787 and A350 are both long-haul aircraft and are known for their increased fuel efficiency, and therefore increased cost-effectiveness. They also feature a better passenger experience, with less engine noise and lower cabin altitude. The new aircraft will serve destinations in the North America, Asia, Africa and beyond.

The order has a list price of $12 billion, but it’s widely known that airlines receive hefty discount on large orders. Lufthansa also negotiated a sale of six Airbus A380s back to Airbus, and that was likely included as part of the deal, knocking off hundreds of millions of dollars. The double-decker aircraft will be returned to Airbus in 2022 and 2023, bringing Lufthansa’s fleet down to just eight.

02 May 2018, Germany, Frankfurt am Main: An Airbus A-380 of Lufthansa starts on the western runway of Frankfurt am Main's airport. Photo: Boris Roessler/dpa (Photo by Boris Roessler/picture alliance via Getty Images)
An Airbus A-380 of Lufthansa takes off in Frankfurt (Photo by Boris Roessler/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Lufthansa has 20 of the soon-to-be-introduced Boeing 777-9 on order to replace its aging fleet of 747-400s, and will start taking delivery of those new 777s in 2020.

It’s unlikely that Lufthansa will install first class on the A350s and 787s. It’s moved away from it on the 747-400s and doesn’t feature it on its A350s. However, both Brussels and Lufthansa will soon start retrofitting aircraft with new business-class seats, which these new aircraft would very likely also get.

Both the A350 and 787 feature economy-class seating in a 3-3-3 configuration, but the A350 has a slightly larger cabin, which can accommodate wider seats.

Featured image courtesy of Lufthansa Group.

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