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.”