Lufthansa orders new freighters and more Boeing aircraft amid 777X delays

Lufthansa Group

Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) has ordered 17 Boeing widebody aircraft, with new Dreamliners to compensate for delayed 777X deliveries, and more freighters to take advantage of the current air cargo boom.  

The German airline group said its executive board had decided to purchase seven Boeing 787-9 long-haul passenger aircraft, three Boeing 777F freighters, and seven of the newest Boeing freighter, the 777-8F, which is based on the 777X. Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) has also decided to extend leases for two current generation Boeing 777F aircraft. 

Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) had been expecting to receive its Boeing 777X, also known as the 777-9, in 2023. However, the US manufacturer confirmed on April 27, 2022 that it was delaying the first deliveries until 2025.   

“The seven highly economical and fuel-efficient 787-9 passenger aircraft are intended to fill the capacity gaps created by the delayed delivery of the Boeing 777-9,” Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) said, adding it expected to receive the Dreamliners, which were originally due to go to other airlines, in 2025 and 2026. In addition, it is bringing forward other 787-9 aircraft that it has already ordered from Boeing, with some deliveries to now occur in 2023 and 2024.    

As for the freighters, Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) said it wanted to take advantage of the current favorable conditions for air cargo.  

“Demand for air freight remains persistently high. Global supply chains continue to be disrupted,” Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) commented in a press release on May 9, 2022. Its freight arm, Lufthansa Cargo, has reported record results during the pandemic and management said after reporting first quarter results on May 5, 2022 that it doesn’t believe an end to the cargo boom is in sight.   

Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) said one of the three 777F aircraft that it is purchasing is currently flying for another airline but will be reassigned to Lufthansa Cargo in the coming weeks, with two new aircraft to follow later.  

When it comes to the freighter version of the 777X, Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) said its first 777-8F will be delivered in 2027. 

Boeing launched the new freighter in February 2022 with an order from Qatar Airways for up to 50 aircraft. Ethiopian Airways followed in March with an MoU for five of the freighters.  

Rival Airbus has also sought to take advantage of the cargo boom by launching a new freighter. The European manufacturer unveiled a new freighter version of its A350 widebody in July 2021 and has gained orders from Air France-KLM, Singapore Airlines (SIA1) (SINGY) and lessor ALC.     


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