Lufthansa’s supervisory board has approved the purchase of 59 Boeing and Airbus aircraft, worth USD$19 billion at list prices, the German airline said on Thursday Sept. 19. The order comprised 34 Boeing 777-9X (about $11 billion at list prices) and 25 Airbus A350-900s (about $8 billion at list prices), with the first of these new aircraft to be delivered in 2016.
The Lufthansa order for the Boeing 777-9X, is the first one for the new version of the successful mini-jumbo with new wings and engines. The order includes 20 firm and 14 options which needed to be reconfirmed at a later date. The order is conditional on Boeing launching the aircraft, which is widely expected to happen at the Dubai Air Show in November 2013.
“We are focused on developing and delivering a superior airplane that ensures the 777 remains the unequivocal long-haul leader,” said John Wojick, Senior Vice President of Global Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “With its new engines and an all-new composite wing design, the 777X will be the largest and most-efficient twin engine jet in the world with 20 percent lower fuel consumption and 15 percent lower operating costs than today’s 777. Boeing is delighted that Lufthansa is continuing its longstanding partnership with Boeing by selecting the 777X for its future fleet development.”
“Boeing and Lufthansa share more than 50 years of partnership and innovation and a tradition of launching new airplane models – starting with the original 737s and most recently, the efficient 747-8 Intercontinental,” said Nico Buchholz, Executive Vice President and Head of Fleet, Lufthansa. “Lufthansa is demonstrating its legacy of innovation and market leadership again with its selection of the 777X. We look forward to many years of partnership with Boeing, as we make air travel more efficient, comfortable and environmentally sustainable with airplanes such as the 777X.”
Lufthansa has been evaluating this order to replace its older A340-300s and 747-400s since last spring. Lufthansa’s Austrian and Swiss airline subsidiaries already fly or have ordered 777s. Swiss International ordered recently 777-300ER to replace its A340-300s on busy routes where it could use more capacity. Boeing will deliver the first of Lufthansa Cargo’s five new 777-200LRF Freighters later this year.
The Boeing 777-9X is seen as a 14,800km (8,000nm) advanced technology jet including a new composite wing, all-new engines and superior aerodynamics resulting in fuel efficiency. The 777-9X would feature a fuselage stretch of 7.0 feet (2.13 m) and extended horizontal stabilizers from the 777−300ER to a total length of 250 feet 11 inches (76.5 m) to accommodate 407 passengers. The gross weight is tentatively slated to decrease slightly from the current 775,000 lb (352,000 kg) to approximately 759,000 lb (344,000 kg). The 777-9X’s wingspan is expected to increase from the current 212 ft 7 in (64.8 m) for the -300ER, to 234 feet (71.3 m).
The Airbus A350-900 is the first A350 model, just flew for the first time in June 2013, and seats 314 passengers in a 3-class cabin 9-abreast layout. It directly competes with the Boeing 787-9 and has a standard design range target of 15,000 km (8,100 nmi). Airbus says that the A350-900 will have a decrease of 16% MWE per seat, a 30% decrease in block fuel per seat and 25% better cash operating cost than the Boeing 777-200ER.