Lufthansa sells four A380s back to Airbus, adds 40 long-hauls


Lufthansa Group decided to update its long haul fleet with as much as 40 new Boeing Dreamliners and Airbus A350 XWBs. The order is to be split in two equal parts between Boeing 787-9s and Airbus A350-900s that are to “primarily” replace current “four engine aircraft”. Speaking of which, the Group is also removing A380s from its fleet, selling some back to the manufacturer.

The order of new Dreamliners and A350 XWBs is worth $12 billion at list prices. The group admits having negotiated a “significant price reduction”, but is not disclosing the details. The new aircraft should be delivered between late 2022 and 2027, but it is not yet clear which group airlines will receive the planes, as the decision is to be made “at a later date”, according to the group statement on March 14, 2019.

“By the middle of the next decade, the entire long-haul fleet will have been modernized,” the statement reads. “The possible fuel savings alone add up to 500,000 metric tons per year. This is equivalent to a CO2 reduction of 1.5 million metric tons”.

Take back your A380s, Airbus!

Lufthansa Group is not only replacing “four engine aircraft”, but is also selling some of its superjumbos back to the manufacturer. The group currently owns 14 A380s, six of them are going to be sold and delivered to Airbus in 2022 and 2023.

While the value of this sale is also not disclosed, the group quotes “economic reasons” behind the decision. It also adds that the “structure of the network and the long-haul fleet, fundamentally optimized according to strategic aspects, will give the company more flexibility and at the same time increase its efficiency and competitiveness”.

The long haul fleet of Lufthansa Group airlines currently adds up to 199 aircraft, and already includes 12 Airbus A350XWB (operated by Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) ). Early next year, the company is also to become one of the launch customers for Boeing 777-9 ‒ the completely new model, which was supposed to be rolled out on March 13, 2019. Following Ethiopian Airlines crash and world-wide backlash regarding Boeing 737 MAX family safety, public event was postponed. 

“By replacing four-engine planes with new models, we are laying a sustainable foundation for our future in the long run. In addition to the cost-effectiveness of the A350 and B787, the significantly lower CO2 emissions of this new generation of long-haul aircraft was also a decisive factor in our investment decision. Our responsibility for the environment is becoming more and more important as a criterion for our decisions,” says Carsten Spohr, CEO and Chairman of Lufthansa Group.

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