Lufthansa has 157 outstanding aircraft orders. These are spread across widebodies, narrowbodies, Airbus and Boeing, and even aircraft that aren’t yet certified. We take a look at the aircraft expected by the German flag carrier in the coming years.
Crunching the numbers
Working with data supplied by ch-aviation.com, Simple Flying decided to look at the stats of the considerable order backlog that Lufthansa is sitting on. The prominent place to start is to look at the breakdown in terms of the manufacturer. All aircraft on order come from the significant aviation duopoly, meaning no Embraers or other smaller brands to be found here.
The order book is heavily weighted towards the European manufacturer, Airbus. Just 45 of the orders are for Boeing products, meaning that the remaining 112 orders are for Airbus products.
The next thing that is good to know is how the order is broken down between single-aisle and twin-aisle aircraft. While the weighting isn’t as substantial as the Airbus Boeing divide, the airline’s narrowbody order still just reigns supreme. 84 aircraft come from the Airbus A320 family, accounting for 54% of the airline’s outstanding orders.
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The Airbus A320neo
The most significant single variant on order by Lufthansa is the Airbus A320neo. The German flag carrier has 54 outstanding commitments to the dominant narrowbody. The airline has already taken delivery of 33 other A320neo aircraft that have been divided between itself and group airline SWISS.
Of the A320neos still to be delivered, two are expected to be handed over this year, according to ch-aviation.com‘s data. Next year Eurowings will take delivery of ten A320neos, while Lufthansa will take four. Brussels Airlines will take three A320neos during 2023, with all remaining aircraft set to go to Lufthansa itself as things currently stand. The last A320neo is presently planned to be delivered in August 2025.
The Airbus A321neo
Deliveries of the Airbus A321neo family will extend even further into the future than its smaller sister despite being a smaller order. According to ch-aviation.com‘s data, the 30 aircraft on order are all set to go to Lufthansa itself as things stand.
Having taken delivery of D-AIEJ just four days ago, Lufthansa is expected to take two more A321neos by the end of the year. D-AIEK should come in September, followed by D-AIEL in November. Seven deliveries are planned each year from 2022 to 2025, with the final plane currently estimated to join the German giant in November 2025.
The Airbus A350-900
Moving away from narrowbodies and into widebody territory, we find that Lufthansa has 28 orders still outstanding for the Airbus A350 family. The airline has so far taken 17 of the type, with the first already receiving a new lick of paint. The last aircraft, D-AIXQ, was delivered back in October last year.
There remains a bit of a wait until the remaining deliveries get underway. The next A350 delivery isn’t planned until July 2023. However, while the airline’s existing aircraft have a three-class cabin, the next ten deliveries will come equipped with first class. These will be delivered up to March 2026.
The airline hasn’t yet decided the configuration of the 18 aircraft still to come after this date. The latest delivery date currently expected for Airbus’ newest clean-sheet aircraft is April 2029. Five Airbus A350-900 orders added by the German flag carrier in May are yet to be assigned expected delivery dates.
The Boeing 787
Jumping across to Boeing, we find 45 orders still to account for. Just over half of these, 25, are for the Boeing 787. Interestingly, Lufthansa has orders for aircraft with two different aircraft in this family. 20 of the orders are for aircraft equipped with Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines. These are used by many Boeing 787 carriers across Europe, including Virgin Atlantic and Norwegian, who both had to ground aircraft previously due to engine issues. All the aircraft on order are the -9 variant.
Lufthansa ordered the 20 Trent 1000 equipped aircraft back in 2015. The first of these is currently due to be delivered in February next year. The aircraft should have the manufacturer’s serial number 66817. This batch of aircraft deliveries is now expected to run through to December 2025, Meaning a much quicker delivery than the A350 family. Five should come each year from 2022-2025.
On top of the 20 aircraft with Trent 1000 engines, Lufthansa is taking the exciting strategy of operating a fleet with mixed engine types. Five Boeing 787-9 aircraft are expected to be delivered with General Electric GEnx engines. These five aircraft orders are relatively fresh, with Lufthansa committing to them back in May.
You may be wondering why Lufthansa has opted for two different engine types. It’s all to do with the way these five aircraft were ordered. These five aircraft are all whitetails, meaning that they were built for another customer. Four of the five already took their first flight in 2019, meaning they already had their engines fixed to the wings long before Lufthansa even expressed an interest in them. The first of these aircraft will be delivered this winter.
The Boeing 777X
Having made our way through the entire Lufthansa order book, we find ourselves at the Boeing 777X, with 20 firm orders from Lufthansa. The aircraft were ordered by Lufthansa back in November 2013, according to ch-aviation.com.
Lufthansa had hoped to take delivery of its first Boeing 777X aircraft last summer. However, the aircraft program has faced a series of delays, with the first aircraft now set to be delivered in 2023. The airline isn’t so worried about the delay though. Lufthansa is expected to be the type’s launch customer, closely followed by Emirates. You can read about the 777X order in more detail here.
Which of the aircraft in Lufthansa’s order books are you most excited to see? Let us know what you think and why in the comments below!