Lufthansa eyes Airbus A350, Boeing 787 and 777X

By David Flynn, June 19 2013
Lufthansa eyes Airbus A350, Boeing 787 and 777X

Lufthansa is weighing the Airbus A350, Boeing 787 and Boeing 777X as contenders for its mid-sized international fleet, and is likely to make the call – and place a massive order – by year's end.

The timeframe for signing on the dotted line is "still probably this year, it’s quite imminent" Lufthansa CEO Christoph Franz told Australian Business Traveller.

Speaking on the sidelines of a media event to welcome EVA Air into the Star Alliance group, of which Lufthansa is a founding member, Franz said the order – tipped to be for as many as 50 aircraft – would fall into "the segment between the smaller aircraft like the A330, and on the other side the big guys, the 747-8I and the A380."

"There is something in between (where) we need aircraft, and we are now in the process deciding whether this could be from the A350 family, or the 787 or 777X family" Franz said.

Read: The 777X – Boeing's next big bird

The German flag-carrier is said to be leaning towards the larger of the mid-sized models, such as the A350-1000 and the Boeing 787-9 or 787-10, with the aircraft due to start flying around 2020.

Franz said that the Dreamliner's worldwide grounding would not colour his judgement when it came to a Boeing-or- Airbus decision.

"These are problems which happen if you have a very innovative new generation of aircraft. You should expect something like this to happen. I am absolutely convinced (by) the time the first aircraft will be delivered to Lufthansa it will all be forgotten."

No plans to fly to Australia

However, Franz has ruled out adding Australia to Lufthansa's network, explaining that the airline's current strategy is to grow by increasing aircraft capacity rather than opening new routes.

"What we are doing is growing by size of aircraft, growing capacity-wise", which he said would deliver "fairly risk-reduced growth in existing markets."

Australian Business Traveller is attending the EVA Air / Star Alliance media event in Taipei as a guest of Star Alliance.

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we’re @AusBT


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 May 2011

Total posts 735

I am more interested in what type of hard product they install inside the planes specifically in Business, not so much what type of aircraft they buy! Having said that, I heard that already they have planned for the earlier retirement of their brand new 748 birds, which only just entered service. Such a shame, talking about planes nothing beats the Queen of the Skies in my opinion. Soon there will only be freighter versions left.......


12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1451

Agreed, particularly sentiments about 748. But looks like it is entirely Boeing fault - they should be a bit quicker.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

20 Nov 2012

Total posts 43

There will be no earlier retirement of their 748's, it is the 744's which are talking about being replaced. There is a thread on talking about this very subject.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 May 2011

Total posts 735

Not quite true, they are considering early retirement of the 747-8's as well (indeed, the 744's are also almost out but this process s already underway). Early retirement for 748's meaning mid/late 2020, which is early considering the birds can easily fly for 30 years and over. See below an extract from aviation week:

Lufthansa is considering eventually replacing its Boeing 747-8 fleet with the proposed 777-9X some time in the next decade, Lufthansa CEO Christoph Franz indicated on the sidelines of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) annual general meeting in Cape Town. Franz pointed out that once a twin becomes available in the 747-8 size category, any airline would have to take a close look at such an aircraft because it is likely to be more efficient.

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