34 Boeing 777-9Xs and 25 Airbus A350-900s will be added to the Lufthansa Group's wide-body fleet. 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 aeroplanes will primarily serve to replace existing aircraft at Lufthansa.
The investment amount for the Lufthansa Group's latest order totals EUR 14bn 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 modernisation 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.
The aim is to reduce the number of different models and fleet complexity in the Passenger Airline Group segment and also replace existing aircraft with state-of-the-art aeroplanes. In March, the Group approved the purchase of around 100 short and medium-haul aircraft. This order included six new Boeing 777-300ERs for Swiss, which are also intended to replace older Airbus A340-300s at the airline.
"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. This 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.
The new aircraft will be operated by ultra-modern, powerful, low-noise engines – the Airbus A350 by the Rolls-Royce 'Trent XWB 84' engine and the Boeing 777-9X by General Electric's 'GE-9X' model. The noise footprint of the new models will be at least 30 per cent lower than today's aircraft.
At Lufthansa alone, every aircraft safeguards about 220 jobs directly. For 59 aircraft, that equates to 13,000 directly attributable jobs. Added to these are approximately another 100 jobs per aircraft at airports, air traffic control, manufacturing companies, freight forwarders and other partners in the system. The employment effect of the 59 wide-body aircraft comes to over 20,000 jobs in Germany and Europe as a result.
Following the aircraft order already placed in March of this year, the Group currently has a total of 295 brand-new aircraft on order with a list value of EUR 36bn. These should be delivered by 2025.