By Ezra Gollan
Lufthansa Adds More Long Haul Aircraft as 777-9 Delivery Woes Continue
The Lufthansa Group on Monday decided to move forward with the decision to purchase over a dozen more long-haul widebody aircraft with both passenger and cargo additions to its already extensive fleet.
Prompted by continued delays in the delivery of the group’s expected Boeing 777-9s, Lufthansa’s Supervisory Board approved the purchase as they were advised that further delays would have the group receiving its first Boeing 777-9 aircraft in 2025 and then following into 2026.
Lufthansa was originally scheduled to receive the 777-9 type in 2023 but certification issues with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has meant slow production and considerable frustration from some of the program’s customers.
Lufthansa has decided to solve this issue by ordering an additional seven 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft along with seven 777-8F freighters and three 777-200F aircraft. Boeing has agreed to rework parts of the delivery plan with Lufthansa and the group will now start receiving 787s in 2023 when the 777-9s were supposed to arrive. Lufthansa’s first 787 has reportedly rolled off the line in South Carolina but the group may have to wait for an extended period due to ongoing delivery delays.
This vote of confidence from Lufthansa should help to give Boeing the boost it has desperately needed after what has been one of the worst multi-year stretches in its history. Lufthansa Group CEO Carsten Spohr said in a press release, “We continue investing in more fuel-efficient, quieter and more economical aircraft that emit significantly less CO2 . This enables us to drive our fleet modernization. By purchasing these state-of-the-art aircraft, we again underline Lufthansa Group’s ability to invest in and shape the future. Once again, we are again taking the initiative and expanding our leadership role as well as taking responsibility for the environment – with premium products for our customers and a sustainable fleet.”
The new aircraft will sport the new Lufthansa business class that was recently introduced aboard the Airbus A350. The premium product features a 1-2-1 configuration with every seat having direct aisle access, something Lufthansa’s previous design notoriously did not feature.
The airline is currently flying the new business class product on routes from Munich to the Canadian cities of Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto though more aircraft are expected to offer the new interior in the coming years.