australian aviation logo

Lufthansa orders 787-9 and more A350-900s, plans to sell six A380s

written by australianaviation.com.au | March 14, 2019

A file image of a Lufthansa Airbus A350-900. (Airbus)
A file image of a Lufthansa Airbus A350-900. (Airbus)

Lufthansa has boosted its order book with the addition of 20 Boeing 787-9s and 20 Airbus A350-900s to be delivered between 2022 and 2027.

The German flag carrier announced the order on Wednesday (European time). The aircraft have been earmarked to replace ageing four-engined widebodies such as its A340-300, A340-500, A340-600 fleet.

The 787-9 will be a new type for Lufthansa. In 2013, the airline ordered ordered 25 A350-900s, with 12 already delivered.

An artist’s impression of the Boeing 787-9 in Lufthansa Group airlines Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines and Swiss Airlines livery. (Lufthansa)

Lufthansa also announced on Wednesday it six of its 14 A380s would be sold back to Airbus, with the aircraft to be withdrawn in 2022 and 2023.

The airline said the decision to reduce its A380 fleet was made for economic reasons.


“The structure of the network and the long-haul fleet, fundamentally optimized according to strategic aspects, will give the company more flexibility and at the same time increase its efficiency and competitiveness,” Lufthansa said in a statement.

“This will of course also benefit Lufthansa’s customers.”

Airbus announced in February it was closing the A380 production line amid a lack of orders and after Emirates chose to cut back its commitment to the aircraft. Deliveries will end in 2021.

Currently, Lufthansa is the third-largest operator of the A380 behind Emirates (101) and Singapore Airlines (19).

A Lufthansa Airbus A380. (Rob Finlayson)
A Lufthansa Airbus A380. (Rob Finlayson)

Lufthansa said in a factsheet the 787-9 would be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines and have between 250-300 seats in various classes, depending on which part of the Lufthansa group of airlines it will fly with.

Meanwhile, the A350-900s currently flying with Lufthansa were configured with 293 seats comprising 48 in business, 21 in premium economy and 224 in economy.

VIDEO: A look at the building of Lufthansa’s first Airbus A350-900 from the airline’s YouTube channel.

Lufthansa said the A350-900 and 787-9, along with the 20 777-9X it had on order, represented “most fuel-efficient long-haul aircraft of their class in terms of kerosene consumption per passenger and 100 kilometers flown”.

“By replacing four-engine planes with new models, we are laying a sustainable foundation for our future in the long run,” Lufthansa Group chief executive Carsten Spohr said in a statement.

“In addition to the cost-effectiveness of the A350 and B787, the significantly lower CO2 emissions of this new generation of long-haul aircraft was also a decisive factor in our investment decision.

“Our responsibility for the environment is becoming more and more important as a criterion for our decisions.”

A look at Lufthansa's first Boeing 777-9X undergoing final assembly in February 2019. (Lufthansa)
A look at Lufthansa’s first Boeing 777-9X undergoing final assembly in February 2019. (Lufthansa)

Lufthansa was one of the first airlines to order the 777-9X. In February, it said the first aircraft was due to be delivered in July 2020.

(The April 2019 edition of Australian Aviation magazine will include a feature story on the Airbus A380. It will be on sale at newsstands March 28 and available online here.)

You need to be a member to post comments. Become a member today!

Comments (9)

  • Mark


    & who if anyone wants to buy an A380 ? Even Emirates don’t want anymore. Maybe at fire sale prices, or maybe if Airbus leases them to an outfit like Hifly, otherwise they’d surely gather dust.

  • Dave


    Well there you go. The only airline that flies both the 747-8 and the A380 has chosen to dispose of some of its dugongs. I guess the Boeing’s made better economic sense.

    • Mark



      but how will they dispose of their A380s ? No one wants them. Didn’t Malaysia have some as well ? They might be closing down altogether. There might end up being a lot of A380 sellers & no buyers. Hifly might get some for a song.

  • hadi


    Their widebody fleet is going to be quite a mix.

    No mention of what is happening to their 747s but some of the 747-8s are basically brand new so are surely staying.

    I always thought it was odd that they bought both A380s and 747-8s. But now they’re buying 787s and 777s when they already had A350s. I’d have thought more A350s would make more sense, particualrly getting the A350-1000 (which they don’t have) instead of the 777-9 even if the -1000 is a little smaller.

    • Ballet Djedje


      It was not that odd to have the 747-8 and the A380. Both planes are different. 748-8 offers more cargo than the 380. So for some routes where they need more cargo, they use the 747-8. This happened with Joburg. Initially, they used the 380 and replaced it with the 747-8. When I asked why I was told that they needed more room for the cargo.

  • Sim


    I see this as a great more sustainable move by Lufthansa. What I don’t understand though is why airlines would choose both the A350 & the B787, surely just sticking to the one type would make more operational and economical sense?

    • Ian



      In light of current 737 max situation, it makes sense not to have all your eggs in the one basket. Airline manufacturers can’t also go broke.

  • craigy


    “By replacing four-engine planes with new models, we are laying a sustainable foundation for our future in the long run,” Lufthansa Group chief executive Carsten Spohr said in a statement.

    I suggest that the B747 in all its marques will also be retired soon

    • Hadi


      Craigy, the 747 is going to be around for quite some time. The ones Lufthansa has up for replacement are -400 models from the 1990s and these are still going to be flying for a few more years.

      Their -8 models are only 4-8 years old. If they were to retire those “soon” as you suggest, what are they going to replace them with when the wait time on new long haul aircraft is several years?

      Besides, the 747 production line is still going with enough orders for freighters to last it a few more years. I highly doubt anyone will be retiring any -8 freighters anytime soon.

Comments are closed.

You don't have credit card details available. You will be redirected to update payment method page. Click OK to continue.