Breaking: The Lufthansa Group Orders 22 Airbus A350s & Boeing 787s While Eyeing Quad Jet Retirements

The Lufthansa Group today revealed that it had upped its orders for widebodies from both major plane makers. The German airline group has announced that the order comprises 15 A350s from both variants, alongside seven more Boeing 787-9s.

The news came the same week that the airline revealed its new Allegris cabin concept at an exclusive event in Berlin. Additionally, the airline announced today that the group’s supervisory board had extended Carsten Spohr’s term as the Group CEO by five years.

22 aircraft orders added

The Lufthansa Group has upped its widebody orders by 22 aircraft. According to the airline, its supervisory board has now approved the following aircraft orders to be added to the existing order books,

  • 5x Airbus A350-900
  • 10x Airbus A350-1000
  • 7x Boeing 787-9
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Photo: Airbus

Today’s deal would be valued at around $7.5 billion. However, it doesn’t stop there, with the group saying it is negotiating to take more widebody aircraft available at short notice. This would most likely be due to other carriers forfeiting their slots. It is worth noting that Lufthansa’s 1st Boeing 787 was actually one of these aircraft, originally due to go to Hainan Airlines and then Vistara.

108 long-haul aircraft orders are now outstanding, including the Airbus A350, the Boeing 787, and the Boeing 777X. While a good portion of these will end up with Lufthansa itself, some will likely end up with other group carriers.

Photo: Lufthansa Group

Upgrading the fleet’s fuel efficiency

According to Lufthansa, the primary goal of today’s order is to replace older aircraft rather than expand the fleet. This is terrible news for any quadjet lovers, as the Boeing 747-400, Airbus A340-300, and Airbus A340-600 are all now in the firing line, alongside the Airbus A330-200, the Boeing 767-300, and the Boeing 777-200.

The carrier entered the pandemic with a widebody fleet of 50% quad jets. The aim is now to retire these six types within the “medium-term future”, bringing this down to under 15%. Previously the plan had been to retire the Boeing 747-400s alongside Boeing 777X deliveries. Interestingly, the airline appears to suggest that today’s order will allow for their retirement.

Photo: Lukas Wunderlich /

Of course, it is unlikely that the Boeing 747-8s will disappear soon, given that their average age is under ten years. Interestingly, Lufthansa made no mention of retiring the Airbus A380. While the carrier had previously said that it would sunset the entire fleet, three jets are now due to return to the skies this summer to serve US destinations. While the lack of an Airbus A380 mention could mean that it may stick around a little longer, it could also be that it wasn’t mentioned as the type is already considered effectively retired by the airline.


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