Lufthansa May Order 100+ Boeing 737 MAX Aircraft Despite Current Worldwide Ban

The world has grounded all Boing 737 MAX planes. In the midst of this breakdown, Lufthansa is considering ordering at least 100. The airline said it doesn’t plan to make a decision about the order until next year. Currently, Lufthansa does not have any Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in its fleet, so the recent grounding has not made an impact on its revenue or flight service.

Lufthansa 737 MAX
Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr says the airline has not lost faith in Boeing. Source: Lufthansa

Recent history of the 737 MAX

The 737 MAX has a troubled performance record with two fatal crashes occurring within the last six months.  In October of last year, Lion Air flight 610 crashed off the coast of Indonesia 13 minutes into its flight, killing all 189 on board. The plane had less than 800 hours of flying time.

Earlier this month Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 crashed outside of Addis Ababa six minutes after takeoff, killing all 156 on board.

In both instances, pilots seemed to be struggling to maintain the aircraft’s speed and altitude. Since the second 737 MAX accident, the plane has been grounded until the FAA is satisfied that Boeing have come up with a fix.

On March 27, a Southwest Boeing 737 MAX was being flown without passengers from Orlando into storage when pilots reported a problem shortly after takeoff and made an emergency landing back in Orlando 11-minutes after takeoff. The issue, however, seemed to be unrelated to prior problems.

The pilots reported they, “…lost our right engine.” The plane landed safely back in Orlando. Southwest Airlines has been steadily taking its fleet of 737 MAX into long-term storage in the Mojave Desert in California.

Southwest Boeing 737 MAX
Southwest has moved many of its 737 MAX planes to the Mojave Desert for storage. Source: Boeing

Canceled Boeing 737 MAX orders

Following the two crashes, airlines have canceled their Boeing 737 MAX planes on order including Garuda Indonesia and Samoa Airlines.

Lufthansa’s stance on Boeing

In a press conference Carsten Spohr, Lufthansa’s CEO, said,

“We have not lost our trust in Boeing. They’ve built wonderful aircraft over the decades, and I am sure they will fix the current issue.”

Earlier this month Lufthansa ordered 20 787-9 Dreamliners from Boeing to be delivered between 2022 and 2027. Additionally, on March 27, Lufthansa Cargo Tweeted to welcome its seventh Boeing 777 to the cargo fleet in Frankfurt, Germany.

Lufthansa Boeing Dreamliner
Lufthansa placed an order for 20 787-9 Dreamliners from Boeing earlier this month. Source: Lufthansa

Lufthansa is looking to replace its current fleet of Airbus A319 and Bombardier CRJ planes. The Boeing 737 MAX would be that replacement, if the order is secured. The airline said it is also considering the Airbus A320neo.

Spohr also said regarding the Boeing 737 MAX grounding, “Between Boeing and the FAA, I think this country will not rest until you have gone to the ground of what really happened there and is there something to improve.”