Boeing received a welcome boost to its 777X program on Monday as Lufthansa Group placed an order for seven 777-8 Freighters scheduled for first delivery in 2027. Orders for two of the company’s present-day 777 Freighters and seven 787-9s accompanied the 777-8F deal, cementing Lufthansa’s commitment to Boeing widebody products after it signed as a launch customer for the 777-9 passenger airplane in 2013. The new deal for 787-9s brings the group’s order total for the Dreamliner family to 32.
The deals come about two weeks after Boeing confirmed it would delay the first delivery of the 777X until 2025 after reassessing the time it would need to meet the FAA’s stricter certification requirements. Originally expected to win certification in 2020, the 777X has suffered through no fewer than three major schedule delays.
Lufthansa said the additional 787-9s will fill capacity gaps created by the latest 777-9 delivery delay, adding that it would bring forward “in some cases” deliveries of Dreamliners already on its books to 2023 and 2024. The new 787-9 order calls for deliveries in 2025 and 2026.
"We continue investing in more fuel-efficient, quieter, and more economical aircraft that emit significantly less CO2,” said Lufthansa Group CEO Carsten Spohr. “This enables us to drive our fleet modernization. By purchasing these state-of-the-art aircraft, we again underline Lufthansa Group's ability to invest in and shape the future. Once again, we are taking the initiative and expanding our leadership role as well as taking responsibility for the environment—with premium products for our customers and a sustainable fleet.”
Boeing launched the new 777-8 Freighter in January and booked firm orders for 34 of the model. The 2021 Boeing Commercial Market Outlook projects a 70 percent increase in the size of the global freighter fleet by 2040, including some 450 new large widebody freighters.