Germany’s Lufthansa has become the launch customer for the Boeing 777X with an order for 34 of the aircraft which will burn up 25 per cent less fuel than the aircraft they replace.
Lufthansa also ordered 25 Airbus A350-900s touting that the two aircraft will also cut the noise footprint by at least 30 per cent and offer a 20 per cent decrease in unit costs (costs per seat-kilometre).
These savings will both bring down fares and will also be great news for airport communities.
Lufthansa said that following a recommendation by the Deutsche Lufthansa AG Executive Board headed by Dr Christoph Franz, the Supervisory Board approved the purchase of 59 ultra-modern aircraft for the Group at its meeting on Wednesday September 18.
The first of these new aircraft will be delivered as early as 2016.
Older Boeing 747-400s and Airbus A340-300s will be phased out by 2025. The new aircraft will primarily serve to replace existing aircraft at Lufthansa.
The investment amount for the Lufthansa Group’s latest order totals €14 billion (US$18.9 billion) at list prices and is the largest single private-sector investment in the history of German industry.
“This investment will safeguard about 13,000 jobs at Lufthansa alone as well as thousands of jobs at our partners in aviation and other suppliers”, said Christoph Franz, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of the Lufthansa Group, explaining the macroeconomic significance of the investment at a press conference in Frankfurt.
This investment in new technology, efficiency and customer comfort is a continuation of the ongoing fleet modernization that is taking place at the Group’s airlines.
Lufthansa operates a wide-body fleet of around 107 aircraft, among them ten ultra-modern Airbus A380s and nine Boeing 747-8s as well as the Airbus A330-300 (18 aircraft). The fleet also includes Airbus A340s (48) and Boeing 747-400s (22). In addition to these, the Group subsidiary Swiss has 31 wide-body aeroplanes, while Austrian Airlines’ wide-body fleet consists of 12 aircraft.
“Less fuel consumption, less CO2 emissions and less noise: The aircraft on order will enable us to make a quantum leap in efficiency and to enter the 2-litre class”, commented Christoph Franz.
No other aircraft type will fly as economically as the A350-900 and the Boeing 777-9X in terms of kerosene consumption per passenger and 100 kilometres flown.
The order underscores the company’s desire to invest in the latest technology to help the environment. The 59 new aircraft will consume an average of just 2.9 litres of kerosene per passenger and 100 kilometres flown.
That is around 25 per cent less than aircraft available today and it will have a positive impact on the Group’s carbon footprint. Unit costs will sink by approximately 20 per cent compared with predecessor models.
Boeing is expected to launch both the 777-9X and -8X at the Dubai Air Show in November.