According to the airline’s CEO Carsten Spohr, it seems that Lufthansa is pleased that the Boeing 777X has been delayed. The comments come as a stark contrast to those from Emirates’ president, who seems particularly unhappy with the delays to the 777X program.
Boeing had intended to deliver the first 777X aircraft last year, with Lufthansa to be the launch customer. However, the program has encountered several delays along the way. As a result, Boeing is now not expecting to deliver its first 777X aircraft until late 2023. Emirates’ president has even warned that he may not even get his first aircraft until 2025.
Committed to the 777X
It seems as though Lufthansa remains committed to the Boeing 777X according to the German publication aeroTELEGRAPH. When asked by the publication, the airline’s CEO, Carsten Spohr, commented,
“We stand by our 777-9 orders… We think it is the right aircraft for us, especially now that it is coming later.
Spohr suggested that until the first aircraft is delivered, Lufthansa’s focus will be on smaller aircraft in the short term. Just yesterday, Simple Flying reported that for the full calendar year in 2021, Lufthansa expects to operate at 40% capacity.
Additionally, the airline doesn’t expect to see traffic return to close to pre-pandemic levels until 2024 at the absolute earliest. Given the retirement of many older aircraft, the group’s seat capacity has dropped by 20%. It believes it can reach 90% of pre-pandemic capacity with its current fleet with more efficient scheduling.
What to expect from Lufthansa’s Boeing 777Xs
According to the latest edition of Boeing’s order book (correct as of March 31st), Lufthansa currently has a firm order for 20 Boeing 777X aircraft, initially placed in November 2013. The airline had been hoping to debut its new business class cabin onboard the next generation widebody.
However, the airline has since revealed that due to the Boeing 777-9 delays, the airline’s new business class is likely to launch on the Boeing 787 or the Airbus A350. The new business class will see a staggered layout employed with alternating 1-1-1 and 1-2-1 rows of seating. The middle seat in the 1-1-1 configuration will be a throne seat.
While Lufthansa will be keen to include premium economy on the aircraft, it had been suggested that the airline could launch a new first class cabin on the aircraft. The first jets to be delivered won’t come with first class.
Not everybody is happy with the delay
Not everybody is happy with the delay to the Boeing 777X program. One individual who has been very vocal about their displeasure is the president of Emirates, Tim Clark. Earlier in April, Clark revealed that he currently has no visibility on when the airline will receive its first 777X aircraft, indicating that it could be as late as 2025 in a worst-case scenario.
Do you think Lufthansa should keep its order for the Boeing 777X? Let us know what you think and why in the comments below!