Updated with comments from Boeing
Lufthansa has ordered 34 Boeing 777-9X widebodies and 25 Airbus A350-900s to replace its A340 and 747-400 long-haul fleets.
The German flag carrier said in March that it would make a widebody order by the fourth quarter 2013 to replace its ageing long-range aircraft below the very large A380 and 747-8. Following negotiations with both manufacturers, Lufthansa’s supervisory board met on 18 September to approve the deal.
Now, the carrier has disclosed a split order for 34 777-9X aircraft – with Lufthansa thus becoming a launching customer for the next-generation 777 programme that is still awaiting official kick-off by Boeing – and 25 A350-900s.
Boeing plans to officially launch the 777X programme by the end of the year, it says.
While the 777X will be exclusively powered by General Electric GE9X engines, the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB is the incumbent engine for the A350.
This is the first time that Lufthansa has ordered 777 passenger aircraft for its fleet. The carrier has thus far resisted the long-range twinjet in favour of the A340. But the 777 has made inroads with the airline as a freighter at cargo joint venture AeroLogic and, more recently, with orders for Lufthansa Cargo and group subsidiary Swiss International Air Lines.
Lufthansa operates 22 747-400s and 48 A340s, split evenly between the A340-300 and -600 variants.
Source: Air Transport Intelligence news