It appears that Lufthansa is trying to swap some of its existing aircraft orders for smaller aircraft. What could that look like?
Lufthansa is looking for smaller aircraft
During a webinar this week, Lufthansa boss Carsten Spohr made some interesting comments about the German airline’s fleet plans. In particular, Lufthansa is said to be negotiating with Airbus and Boeing about existing orders as Lufthansa is looking for smaller aircraft. As Spohr explained:
“We are adding a lot of four-engine long-haul aircraft from the fleet and this creates a certain need for smaller long-haul aircraft. These are very dynamic discussions. “
Spohr stated that both Airbus and Boeing showed flexibility in the discussions, which is what we’ve seen elsewhere in the industry as several airlines announced order changes.
Spohr has a very pessimistic outlook on the future of travel and doubts that business travel in the US or Europe will ever return to pre-pandemic levels. Lufthansa has already announced that it will take all A380 and A340-600 out of service.
Lufthansa is exhibiting its entire Airbus A380 fleet
What kind of order swaps should we expect?
The above begs the question of what kind of order swaps we can expect from Lufthansa. It appears that the discussions about possible job changes are specific to long-haul aircraft based on Spohr’s comments. Lufthansa’s current long haul orders include the following:
- 20 Boeing 787-9
- 20 Boeing 777-9
- 41 Airbus A350-900s (almost half of which the airline has already taken over)
The A350 will ultimately be the backbone of Lufthansa’s long-haul fleet
The types of aircraft Lufthansa can switch to here are pretty limited, so it doesn’t take too many guessworks:
- Could Lufthansa with Boeing swap its 777-9 for more 787-9 or maybe even 787-8?
- Could Lufthansa and Airbus swap its A350-900 for A330-800neos, A330-900neos or A321XLRs?
Could Lufthansa be interested in the A321XLR?
My general attitude is as follows:
Could Lufthansa cancel its Boeing 777-9 order altogether?
Lufthansa is currently in talks with Airbus and Boeing to adjust the existing orders for long-haul aircraft as the airline wants smaller long-haul aircraft. To me, this suggests that Lufthansa may want to swap the 777-9 for the 787-9 and the A350-900 for the A321XLR.
Only time will tell how this situation plays out, although airlines are certainly looking for ever smaller aircraft to meet their long-haul needs.
What do you think of Lufthansa’s plans for smaller, long-haul aircraft?