LONDON – The Lufthansa Group has announced that it will be ordering up to 40 brand new long-haul aircraft.

At a total investment cost of $12 billion, 20 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and 20 Airbus A350-900s will be added to its orderbook.

Deliveries are to take place of these aircraft between 2022 and 2027.

Lufthansa Group CEO Carsten Spohr considers this order as the start of the replacement of four engined aircraft.

“By replacing four-engine planes with new models, we are laying a sustainable foundation for our future in the long run. In addition to the cost-effectiveness of the A350 and B787, the significantly lower CO2 emissions of this new generation of long-haul aircraft was also a decisive factor in our investment decision.”

“Our responsibility for the environment is becoming more and more important as a criterion for our decisions,” 

On top of this, the Board at the Group have approved a motion to sell six of its 14 Airbus A380 aircraft in the fleet back to Airbus.

This will happen between 2022 and 2023 as the first six of 40 aircraft will be delivered then.

Lufthansa cited this reasoning down to “economic reasons”, which again is a continued blow to the A380 program, even after its cancellation.

This now means that the long-haul strategy, which will replace the Airbus A330s, A340s and now A380s will be replaced by the A350s already in its fleet, the future 787-9 Dreamliners and the incoming Boeing 777X.

Lufthansa Group believes that this will reduce operating costs by around 20% compared to earlier models.

The airline did not confirm which airlines will be receiving the new aircraft, but an image released by the Group would suggest either to Lufthansa mainline, SWISS or Austrian.

This will no doubt be confirmed within the next year or two, as it is still too early to speculate on this with deliveries not due for another three years.

SWISS do have some Airbus A340s that need to be retired, with Austrian also holding on to some older Boeing 767s and 777s.

Although Lufthansa is just planning itself for the future, it is also limiting the time of the A380s that are already in commercial service.

For enthusiasts, it will be a sad sight to see them go but can relish in the fact that new aircraft are on the way. But even then, will that be enough?