Lufthansa Orders 20 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, And 20 Airbus A350s

With its 737 MAX family grounded indefinitely as investigators try to pin down the causes of two fatal crashes, Boeing (NYSE:BA) desperately needed some kind of win last week.

It got one on Wednesday, as Lufthansa (NASDAQOTH:DLAKY) placed an order for 20 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners. The European airline giant also ordered an additional 20 A350-900s fromAirbus (NASDAQOTH:EADSY), adding to the 25 it previously ordered — of which it has already received 12.

These deals will allow Lufthansa to retire most of its fuel-guzzling four-engine jets in the coming years.

As recently as last fall, industry rumors suggested that Lufthansa might want to defer some of its existing widebody aircraft orders, particularly for the Boeing 777-9.

A Bloomberg report indicated that the airline group might defer some aircraft but was also thinking about ordering up to 20 smaller widebodies.

Instead, Lufthansa has ordered 40 widebodies — and it hasn’t announced any deferrals so far. Deliveries of the 787 Dreamliners and A350s ordered last week will begin in late 2022 and run through 2027.

Lufthansa hasn’t decided how to allocate these jets around its network yet. This is a complex question: In addition to its namesake airline, Lufthansa also owns Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings, and SWISS. However, CEO Carsten Spohr has previously said that the company would not operate the 787 and A350 side-by-side at the same hub.