The Lufthansa Group has announced that “for economic reasons” it will sell six of its 14 A380 jets back to Airbus. The German airline said the aircraft would be withdrawn from the fleet between 2022 and 2023. The airline and the manufacturer agreed not to disclose the value of the deal.
The A380s retired from service will be replaced by new twin-engine models, including a new order also confirmed today. The group’s board of directors approved the purchase of a total of 40 state-of-the-art aircraft, including 20 Boeing 787-9 and 20 additional Airbus A350-900. The new aircraft will be delivered between the end of 2022 and 2027.
Lufthansa also notes that the new aircraft will be added primarily to replace its older fleet of four-engine aircraft, in this case the Airbus A340 and Boeing 747-400 models. The German company also flies with the 747-8, the latest version of the Boeing jet.
“By replacing four-engine plans with new models, we are laying a sustainable foundation for our future in the long run. 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, “says Carsten Spohr, CEO and Chairman of Lufthansa Group.
The new order from Lufthansa is valued at $ 12 billion, according to the list prices of the aircraft ordered. The company, however, said it achieved a significant reduction in prices, something common in negotiations involving many aircraft. Again, the parties did not disclose the real value in the agreement.
Lufthansa is starting the process of renewing its fleet of long-haul aircraft. The company said it will deactivate seven types of aircraft in the coming years, which will reduce the costs and complexity of maintenance and parts supply. The airline currently has 199 widebodies.
In addition to the acquisition of the 787 and A350 models, Lufthansa is also preparing to receive the new Boeing 777-9. The German company will be the first customer of the 777X, the next generation of the 777.
The company estimates that renewal of long-haul aircraft will reduce operating costs by 20 percent, reduce fleet fuel consumption by 500,000 metric tons per year, and stop emitting 1.5 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.
Out of the plans of more companies
Airbus announced in February the end of the A380 program. Its production will be maintained only until 2021 to meet remaining orders. The decision was made by the manufacturer after the company Emirates Airlines, the largest operator of the aircraft, reduce its order.
The A380’s continued presence in the market had been threatened for several years since it became clear that the huge jet did not offer an advantageous operating cost to airlines, despite the number of passengers it can carry.