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Lufthansa Group Announces Widebody Order

A Lufthansa A350 taxis in Munich. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Fabian Behr)

On Thursday, the Lufthansa Group announced an order for new Airbus and Boeing jets bringing its current order book to 108 new aircraft from the manufacturers. The latest order announcement included 22 aircraft consisting of Airbus A350-1000s and A350-900s along with Boeing 787-9s valued at 7.5 billion dollars. This announcement also included a timeline for the ill-fated four-engine aircraft and older fleet types operated under the group. Airlines under the Lufthansa Group umbrella include Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings and Germanwings, Lufthansa Cargo, Lufthansa German Airlines, and SWISS and Edelweiss.

The makeup of the order included 10 A350-1000s, five A350-900s, and seven Boeing 787-9s. This current order compliments previous orders by the group which includes the types listed above in addition to the Boeing 777-9. The A350-900s will join a fleet of already 22 strong and a previous order list that included 28 of the type. The 787-9s will join three that are currently in service and add to an order list that was 29 strong before the announcement. 

It was not specified who would receive the aircraft ordered, however, some clues were given for the landing spot of the A350-1000s by a press release issued by the Group. It was stated that the -1000s would be deployed on premium heavy markets and include a first-class cabin. Currently, only Lufthansa and SWISS operate aircraft with first-class cabins. SWISS also have fairly new Boeing 777-300ERs in its fleet which have an average age of just 5.8 years and are unlikely to receive the new A350-1000s on order. Thus, the -1000s will probably be operated by Lufthansa with the new first-class cabin that was put on display for the first time mere days ago. 

Fleet Retirements

Four-engine fans will be saddened by the latest announcement as it hinted towards the eventual retirement of multiple sub fleets operated by the Group’s airlines in the “medium-term future:”

  • Boeing 747-400s operated by Lufthansa 
  • Airbus A340-600s operated by Lufthansa 
  • Airbus A340-300s operated by Lufthansa, Edelweiss and SWISS
  • Boeing 777-200s operated by Austrian 
  • Boeing 767-300s operated by Austrian 
  • Airbus A330-200s operated by Eurowings 

It is important to note that in the announcement, the Airbus A330-200 was the only variant of the A330 mentioned to be retired. Brussels Airlines, Lufthansa and SWISS all operate the A330-300 variant which appears to be included in future fleet planning for now. 

With the latest order announcement, it appears that the entire Austrian Airlines long-haul fleet will be getting a revamp as they currently only operate the 777-200 and 767-300, which have average ages of 23.4 years and 22.2 years respectively. However, it is unclear what types the airline will be receiving. 

Of the list above, the Airbus A340-600s are the only aircraft in Lufhtnasa’s fleet listed to be retired that offer a premium first-class product to customers. The Airbus A380 and Boeing 747-8 also offer first class, however, those types are not on the proverbial chopping block from this announcement. In a recent release, the Cologne-based carrier also announced that they would be installing new revamped first and business-class seats on all new aircraft ordered and retrofitting aircraft currently in the fleet which have plans to stay. The A350-900s and 787-9s will be delivered with new business, premium economy, and economy-class products. 

This order reinforces the already strong relationship that the Lufthansa Group has had in the past with both Airbus and Boeing. The Group has ordered and operated all Airbus fleet types since the 1970s. Lufthansa is also one of seven current customers for the new 777x.

Zach Cooke

Author

  • Zach Cooke

    Zach’s love for aviation began when he was in elementary school with a flight sim and model planes. This passion for being in the air only intensified throughout high school when he earned his Private Pilot Certificate. He then attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, earning his certificates and ratings to later flight instruct and share his passion for aviation with others. He now resides in the North East living out his dream as an airline pilot.

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