As part of their earnings announcement earlier this week, Lufthansa has indicated that it has begun preliminary discussions with Boeing and Airbus regarding the potential purchase of 108 aircraft. The move is designed to help Lufthansa refresh and modernize their fleet for the next 12-15 years.
The move comes due to Lufthansa’s desire to improve the passenger experience for travelers that utilize their short and medium range aircraft (Airbus A320 / Boeing 737 and their respective variants). 100 of the aircraft ordered would be short to medium range aircraft while the remaining 8 would be long haul aircraft such as the 747-8i and the A380. Personally I don’t think we’ll see the 787 Dreamliner in the mix, but I would not be surprised if a few Airbus A350s didn’t make it into the fleet. Again, thats just my own perception.
Commenting about Lufthansa’s motivation to begin this “overhaul”, Lufthansa’s Chairman and CEO Christoph Franz stated that “Modern aircraft and state-of-the-art inflight products are an investment in the customer experience and in the operational efficiency of the fleet. The greater fuel efficiency and lower noise and exhaust emissions of modern aircraft will also make an important contribution towards protecting the environment”.
Considering the intense pressure that LH faces from European and Mid East based rivals, Herr Franz and the rest of the Supervisory Board “Get It” and understand that if Lufthansa is to remain a premier airline, it needs to have the proper “magnets” to draw passengers. In addition to fantastic “soft products” such as crew hospitality, new and modern aircraft are typically the most critical elements when trying to recruit new passengers, keep existing ones happy and improve upon the overall passenger experience.
According to current list prices for these Aircraft, the deal may be valued near 9 billion Euros but typically Airlines get much better pricing when they negotiate such large orders with manufacturers.
If the process goes to plan, we’ll see the sparkling new aircraft begin to join the fleet as soon as 2015 and deliveries would be expected to continue until 2025. This would set up Lufthansa very well for the next 15-25 years in terms of having relatively young aircraft in the fleet.