MIAMI — Earlier this month, Lufthansa took delivery of the final Airbus A380 aircraft it had on order, and it will take delivery of the final Boeing 747-8I it has on order soon.
Lufthansa placed an order for 15 A380s with options for 10 more in December 2001, and it became the second European airline to operate the superjumbo when it took delivery of its first A380 on May 19, 2010.
About a year later, Lufthansa agreed to order two more which would bring Lufthansa’s A380 fleet to 17 once they were all delivered.
But in October 2013, Lufthansa cancelled three of its A380 orders which meant ultimately that the carrier would have a fleet of 14; one less than originally planned.
Each of the 14 carry a special name, following tradition. The first two were named Frankfurt am Main and München, and the remaining 12 are named after Star Alliance hub cities such as Tokyo.
Currently, Lufthansa is outfitting its A380s with new business class seats and a Premium Economy cabin.
Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental
Lufthansa will soon take delivery of the final Boeing 747-8I aircraft it has on order.
The airline has a very long and rich history when it comes to operating the Boeing 747. While Boeing has produced more than 1,500 747s for customers around the world, Lufthansa has operated more than 75 since the 1970s.
Lufthansa became the second international airline to fly the aircraft, but it was the first European carrier to fly scheduled services with the 747. Originally, Lufthansa intended to operate it as a military aircraft, but the airline would use it primarily for passenger and cargo services. Over the years, the jumbo jet has become an iconic aircraft at Lufthansa, and it was even a host for several major world premières in succession, including the first film shown on board a jumbo jet.
In April 1972, Lufthansa was the launch customer of the cargo version (also known as the “Smiling 747″) which allows airlines to load even bulkier goods.
“A step towards the 1990s’”is how Lufthansa CEO Heinz Ruhnau described the purchase agreement signed on 23 June 1986 for an initial order of six enhanced Boeing 747 aircraft.
It was the first airline to order the “Dash 400” (Boeing 747-400), and Lufthansa helped develop the new aircraft by providing hundreds of suggestions for improvements and more than 20,000 engineer hours.
However, the carrier continued to work with Boeing to develop a new 747 model, the Boeing 747-8I, and it became the launch customer of the Boeing 747-8I. It placed an order for 20 in December 2006.
Lufthansa took delivery of its first -8I in early 2012, and it inaugurated passenger flights between Frankfurt and Washington D.C. in June 2012. Since the first delivery, 18 747-8Is have joined the fleet, and when the final one joins, Lufthansa will have 19 in the fleet.
Earlier this year, Lufthansa unveiled a special retro painted aircraft with the carrier’s colors from 1968 as part of the airlines’ 60th anniversary celebrations.
Will Lufthansa order more Airbus A380s or Boeing 747-8Is? That remains unknown, but it does seem highly unlikely that Lufthansa will place a re-order, especially Lufthansa reduced the number it would actually take delivery of.
Currently, Lufthansa has 19 aircraft on-order (excluding the last 747-8I that has yet to be delivered) and options for 91 more.
- 30 A320-200 CEOs on order
- 60 A320neos on order +75 options between CEO and NEO
- 40 A321neos on order
- 25 A350-900s on order +15 options
- 34 Boeing 777-9X aircraft on +7 options