By Damian Brett
Lufthansa Cargo has ordered a further two Boeing 777 Freighters as it accelerates the retirement of its remaining MD-11Fs.
The freighter operator says the latest order is part of a fleet modernisation programme that will see the carrier retire its 10 MD-11Fs by the end of 2020, four years ahead of a previous target.
To be based at the carrier's Frankfurt hub, the 777Fs will be delivered in 2020.
Lufthansa Cargo chief executive Peter Gerber says: "We are investing in maximum reliability and significantly lower emissions.
"The modernisation of our fleet is the biggest contribution we can make to the future in the short term. We combine responsibility for our company with corporate responsibility."
Lufthansa Cargo says that the higher capacity and range of the new aircraft would allow it to achieve the same performance with fewer aircraft movements.
With a maximum capacity of 103t, the 777F is around 20% more efficient than the MD-11F, which has a 93t capacity. Range for the widebody twin is listed as 4,970nm (9,200km).
Lufthansa Cargo says its customers will have the same freighter capacity at their disposal at the end of the fleet renewal as they had at the beginning when eighteen MD-11Fs were in operation.
The airline currently operates seven 777Fs, alongside its ten MD-11Fs. In addition to its own fleet, Lufthansa Cargo can utilise the cargo capacity of four 777Fs operated by AeroLogic, a joint venture between the German carrier and DHL.
Lufthansa Cargo first put the three-engined MD-11F into operation in 1998 to replace 747 freighters.