Lufthansa backs major Airbus, Boeing jet order

Deutsche Lufthansa signaled a major aircraft order to drive down fuel costs on long routes, saying its board had backed modernization plans that industry watchers expect to benefit both Airbus and Boeing.

Airbus B77-9x Boeing Lufthansa

Germany’s top carrier gave few details after a board decision on 18 Sept, but people familiar with the matter said the deal could include $14-15 billion of firm orders split between jetmakers, including the first order for a revamped B777.

Lufthansa is in the middle of a deep restructuring that includes 3,500 job cuts, while investing in modern jets to cut its fuel bill and catch up with Middle East rivals particularly on highly fought-over routes between Europe and Asia.

The influential airline’s decision is keenly awaited as Airbus and Boeing scramble for advantage in the lucrative market for twin-engined jets carrying between 300 and 400 people.

Excluding options, Lufthansa is expected to order up to 45 aircraft, including the first solid order for a revamped version of Boeing’s best-selling twinjet, code-named 777-9X.