Lufthansa Group Orders Airbus A220, Boeing 737 MAX

Lufthansa Group Orders Airbus A220, Boeing 737 MAX

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Lufthansa Group has just announced a major aircraft order for up to 200 jets, which will see a new aircraft type inducted into the fleet of the airline group.

Lufthansa Group orders new narrow body jets

Lufthansa Group is placing a firm order for 80 new jets, with options for an additional 120 new jets. This deal is worth around $9 billion at list prices, though of course airlines never pay list prices. This order is comprised of the following:

  • Lufthansa Group will purchase up to 60 Airbus A220-300s, with a firm order for 40 jets and options for 20 jets; these will be delivered between 2026 and 2031
  • Lufthansa Group will purchase up to 100 Boeing 737 MAX 8s, with a firm order for 40 jets and options for 60 jets; these will be delivered between 2027 and 2032
  • Lufthansa Group has new purchase options for an additional 40 Airbus A320 family aircraft, with an undisclosed delivery timeline
Lufthansa Group has ordered up to 200 jets

Here’s how Dr. Detlef Kayser, a member of the Lufthansa Group Executive Board, describes this aircraft order:

“With today’s aircraft order, we are accelerating the largest fleet modernization in our company’s history. This increases our order list of around 200 aircraft to 280 – plus an additional 120 purchasing options for further state-of-the-art short- and medium-haul aircraft. We are pleased that both Airbus and Boeing were able to convince us on all commercial and technological aspects.”

“In addition to this, the decision for the Boeing 737-8 MAX will also give us more flexibility for the procurement of short- and medium-haul aircraft in the future. The new ultra-modern aircraft offer our guests additional comfort. They are also quieter, more economical, more efficient, and emit up to 30 percent less CO2 than their predecessor models. The order demonstrates our airlines’ future viability and ability to invest, and it shows that we are living up to our responsibility to reduce our carbon emissions.” 

For which airline will these new Lufthansa Group jets fly?

Lufthansa Group has several airlines, including Lufthansa, SWISS, Austrian, Brussels, and more. So for which airlines will these new aircraft fly?

The Airbus A220-300s are explicitly intended for Lufthansa City Airlines, which is Lufthansa’s new subsidiary, that’s intended to save on labor costs. The airline will launch flights in 2024, and will operate feeder flights for Lufthansa out of Frankfurt (FRA) and Munich (MUC).

The airline is initially launching with Airbus A319s, but that’s only intended as a temporary measure. It’s logical that the airline would then switch to Airbus A220s, as those planes have great fuel efficiency and similar capacity. This won’t be the first time that Lufthansa Group flies A220s, as SWISS also has these in its short haul fleet.

What’s perhaps more interesting is the order for the Boeing 737 MAX. So, for which Lufthansa Group airline will these planes fly? Lufthansa Group states that these planes won’t be flying for Lufthansa City Airlines or for SWISS, since those airlines already have their fleet renewal figured out. Instead, the decision of which airline the planes will fly for will be made at a later date.

I could see Austrian Airlines and/or Brussels Airlines eventually flying 737 MAXs, given that the airlines have a lot fewer next generation short haul aircraft than Lufthansa and SWISS. That would mean the airlines would eventually transition from an Airbus to Boeing narrow body fleet. Only time will tell, and we’re nearly four years off from the first delivery, so a lot can change.

As far as the additional Airbus A320 family options go, those could easily go to any Lufthansa Group carrier, since they all fly that aircraft type.

We’ll see where these planes end up

Bottom line

Lufthansa Group has just placed a large narrow body aircraft order. This includes up to 60 Airbus A220-300s (40 of which are firm orders), which will fly for new subsidiary Lufthansa City Airlines, and it also includes an order of up to 100 Boeing 737 MAX 8s (40 of which are firm orders), which will fly for a Lufthansa Group carrier other than Lufthansa City Airlines or SWISS.

It’s not surprising to see Lufthansa City Airlines get A220s, since that’s a logical fit. I think the much more interesting question is which airline will end up taking the 737 MAXs.

What do you make of Lufthansa Group’s aircraft order?

Conversations (10)
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  1. Jaime López Guest

    They probably got a big discount from Boeing Maxx

  2. Shikhar Gupta Guest

    Woah, the 7M8 order is a surprise. I wager it's meant for Austrian, their A321s average age is 26.1 lol and their A320s are at an avg. of 16.7.

  3. Albert Hug Guest

    Boeing MUST have given HUGE HUGE discounts to Lufthansa (cost of switching away from Airbus; addtl. maintenance, crew training, etc.; negative safety image (costing YIELD!) of the 737MAX (basically wrong center of gravity aircraft fixed with software....), cargo issues...

    1. Cr- Guest

      That’s why they are being ordered consistently which says something about your safety issues. As for huge discounts, They sell their planes at list price than give discounts based on how many orders an airline chooses. The max is already a great success. Really.

  4. FtLaudFlyer Guest

    One thing that is missed in the AV Geek community - $$. LH airlines generally lose money, and are subsidized by Lufthansa Technik, the group's MRO company. Having the 737 in the LH family allows LHT valuable experience on the MRO side, which they can sell to 3rd party airlines.

  5. Paper Boarding Pass Guest

    Good news for A220 program. Big issue was the break even point of approximately 400 to 500 units due to the huge development costs on the part of Bombardier.
    This will keep many a Canadian, Belfaster, and 'Bama boy chipper, let alone the P&W group!!

    1. Paper Boarding Pass Guest

      As a side note, LH is currently using E190 between Frankfurt and London City. The A220-100 is also authorized to fly in and out of London City. If shrewd, might be wise to get a few 100 series in the batch.

    2. Barbarella Guest

      When Air Baltic ordered more - 300S, Airbus has announced that they are working on certifying the - 300 for LCY. If they can achieve this, the - 100 will have little reason to exist in Europe.

      As for the 737max it seems the order is mainly driven by lack of delivery slots on Airbus side. It shows how enthusiastic LH group is to get those planes... Maybe they expect more slots from Airbus and will lease the Boeings?

  6. Kraut Guest

    Strange that Lufthansa would buy 737s when they are so committed to the A320 family already, surely it's silly duplication?

  7. Tim Dunn Diamond

    great to see LH Group order the MAX and also for another vote of confidence in the A220.
    It is notably that Airbus and Boeing will both deliver planes within the next 3 years showing that they have early production slots available for blue chip customers, contrary to the popular notion that they are sold out for the rest of the decade.

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Jaime López Guest

They probably got a big discount from Boeing Maxx

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Barbarella Guest

When Air Baltic ordered more - 300S, Airbus has announced that they are working on certifying the - 300 for LCY. If they can achieve this, the - 100 will have little reason to exist in Europe. As for the 737max it seems the order is mainly driven by lack of delivery slots on Airbus side. It shows how enthusiastic LH group is to get those planes... Maybe they expect more slots from Airbus and will lease the Boeings?

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Paper Boarding Pass Guest

As a side note, LH is currently using E190 between Frankfurt and London City. The A220-100 is also authorized to fly in and out of London City. If shrewd, might be wise to get a few 100 series in the batch.

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