This morning Lufthansa confirmed a launch order with Boeing for the 777-9, becoming the first customer for the revised variant.  The 777-9 will accommodate 42 additional seats than the existing 365 seat 777-300ER model, and may be a replacement aircraft for the 747-8I according to Aviation Week.  The carrier also ordered 25 A350-900 aircraft from Airbus, splitting this order for new wide-body aircraft between the two manufacturers.The 777-9 will feature all new engines from GE, a new composite wing, and advanced aerodynamics that according to Boeing will provide 20% better fuel efficiency than today’s 777-300ER and a 15% reduction in operating costs.  Those economics would provide the 777-9 with the lowest seat-mile costs in the industry, even lower than the larger A380 and 747-8I, the only two aircraft with larger capacity.

Nico Buchholz, Executive Vice President and Head of Fleet for Lufthansa said “Boeing and Lufthansa share more than 50 years of partnership and innovation and a tradition of launching new airplane models – starting with the 737 and more recently, the efficient 747-8 Intercontinental.  Lufthansa is demonstrating its legacy of innovation and market leadership again with its selection of the 777X.”

imagesThe order for A350-900 aircraft also included options for 30 additional aircraft, with the potential to convert some of the orders to the larger A350-1000 model.  Nico Buchholz stated “The A350 XWB suits Lufthansa’s entire network regarding size and range, and will be key to modernizing our fleet while significantly reduction operational costs and our environmental footprint.  These quiet and fuel-efficient aircraft will fit nicely into our existing Airbus fleet, and our passengers will be able to enjoy seamless service and comfort levels throughout our entire product range.”
Lufthansa has now upgraded its wide-body fleet as well as its narrow-body fleet.  With the flurry of orders over the last two years for the narrowbody Airbus neo and Boeing MAX models, we expect the industry focus to move towards wide-body fleet renewal over the next two years, with growth in 787-9 and -10, A350 and 777X orders.
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