Lufthansa Group signed a firm order for 10 Airbus A350-1000s and 5 Airbus A350-900s. The airline noted: “With this firm order for the latest generation widebody aircraft, the airline will continue its decarbonisation trajectory.” Airbus and Lufthansa also signed an MOU to further strengthen their cooperation in sustainability and future technologies. This includes the intensified use of sustainable aviation fuels, the further optimization of operations through more efficient flight management, and exploration into the use of hydrogen. Lufthansa boosts the A350 order book.
“We are honored to see Lufthansa topping up its A350 order book to a total of 60 aircraft, joining the increasing number of A350-1000 customers around the world. With economic and sustainability pressures becoming a measurable reality as international flying increases again, so do the massive advantages of the A350 as the only clean sheet design and therefore the most efficient solution,” said Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of International. “By adding the largest A350 family member to its fleet, Lufthansa will benefit from Airbus’ full fleet commonality, offering unmatched operational flexibility and vast economic benefits.”
The largest airlines continue to lock up backlog slots. The selection of the -1000 is another example of an airline looking ahead to replace current four-engined models like the 747 and A380. It should be noted that Lufthansa was an early customer for the 777-9. Like British Airways, Qantas, and Virgin Atlantic, we see Lufthansa follow the -1000 path.
Today’s order includes another seven 787-9s, which is easily overlooked by the 15 Airbus aircraft ordered. The 787-9 is proving to be a popular long-haul aircraft with economics that allow it to open new markets at low risk. United’s 787-9 service to Africa is an example. It seems once an airline is a 787 customer, the odds of a repeat order are very high.
It should also be noted that Lufthansa is known for its painstaking fleet planning analysis. Adding more -900s is a good signal, and adding the -1000 sends a message, too. For airlines looking at the 300-400 seat segment, decisions need to be made. Delta, for instance, has been looking at the -1000 and was expected to step up in December. Emirates is another target customer for the -1000. As the A350 backlog grows (don’t forget Air India’s blockbuster order) delivery slots drift off into the future.
Co-Founder AirInsight. My previous life includes stints at Shell South Africa, CIC Research, and PA Consulting. Got bitten by the aviation bug and ended up an Avgeek. Then the data bug got me, making me a curious Avgeek seeking data-driven logic. Also, I appreciate conversations with smart people from whom I learn so much. Summary: I am very fortunate to work with and converse with great people.