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Lufthansa Plans First 787 Dreamliner Route
Lufthansa announced that the first commercial route to be served by its new Boeing 787-9 fleet will be Frankfurt-Toronto Pearson, starting this Winter. The company has undergone a profound restructuring of its long-haul fleet amid the challenges derived from the COVID-19 crisis, and it is ready to start operating the Dreamliner during the first half of 2022.
Although there were reports of the Boeing 747-400 returning for the route, 2021’s fourth quarter scheduling has shown that Lufthansa will move from the Airbus A350-900 to the 787-9: six additional seats and reduced fuel consumption. The Dreamliner’s seating capacity has yet to be announced since Lufthansa closed the deal for the five additional 787-9s in May this year taking advantage of a batch of non-taken units.
“We are pushing ahead with the modernization of our long-haul fleet even faster than planned prior to the coronavirus pandemic due to anticyclical opportunities,” said Carsten Spohr, Lufthansa’s Chairman and CEO, when the deal was announced.
The additional aircraft type had an impact on the four-engine fleet at the carrier. All Airbus A340s were permanently phased out, and the total amount of the four-engined aircraft will now represent 15 percent of the carrier’s long-haul fleet, when before the pandemic the retirement was set to be much more gradual. All Boeing 747-8i and a part of the 747-400s will continue to operate to destinations like Buenos Aires, where demand and distance required a bigger aircraft.
Besides these plans, everything will depend on Boeing’s 787 quality issues crisis resolution, which is not expected to be concluded before late October. Once the manufacturer is allowed to resume deliveries, these five aircraft will need to be thoroughly vetted and accepted by Lufthansa.
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