Lufthansa is ordering more new aircraft
Sjust a day before the German Lufthansa presents its balance sheet for 2022 and the outlook for the current year, the group is trying to convey the message that all the course for the future has been set. First the Supervisory Board extended the contract of CEO Carsten Spohr by five years. He would then be the longest-serving boss in the company’s history. In a second step, the supervisors cleared the way for the acquisition of 22 new long-haul aircraft. Fifteen Airbus A350 jets and seven Boeing 787s have a combined list price of $7.5 billion.
The new planes will with the new furnishing concept presented at the beginning of the week equipped with which the group wants to prove its self-declared premium claim to passengers. “In addition, the new aircraft will make a decisive contribution to achieving our CO₂ savings targets by 2030, because fuel-efficient aircraft of the latest design are by far the greatest lever for more climate protection in air traffic,” said CEO Spohr. Lufthansa has set itself the goal of halving its net emissions by the end of the decade and achieving a neutral CO₂ balance by 2050.
It should not stop with the new orders. One is in “advanced negotiations for further long-haul aircraft, which may be available at short notice,” the group said. The group, which had to be supported with a billion-dollar government package almost three years ago at the beginning of the corona pandemic, is already expecting many new aircraft.
Order list is getting longer
In the next few years, a total of 108 long-haul jets are to be added to the Group fleet, including 777X aircraft from Boeing, which should actually fly a long time ago, but are now expected in 2025 at the earliest due to production delays at Boeing. In the Corona years alone, Lufthansa ordered 50 long-haul aircraft with the order on Thursday. If the firm orders for medium-haul aircraft are also included, Lufthansa now expects more than 200 new aircraft.
They are not used entirely for growth, but are also intended to replace older models that consume more kerosene and consequently have a higher exchange of pollutants. On the list of models to discard is the A340 from airbus, which Lufthansa no longer considers efficient enough for a fleet of the future. The older generation of Boeing 747 jumbo jets should also no longer fly.
The proportion of aircraft with four engines that are said to have disadvantages in terms of fuel efficiency compared to machines with two engines of the new generation is to be reduced to 15 percent in the long-haul fleet. The savings measure decided during the pandemic to focus on fewer different aircraft, which should reduce maintenance and operating costs, also plays a role in sorting out models. In addition to the orders, the group announced that it had signed a letter of intent with the aircraft manufacturer Airbus for closer cooperation on the use of sustainable aviation fuels, research into the use of hydrogen and the optimization of flight operations.
“To be well ahead again in the premium segment”
With the balance sheet on Friday, Lufthansa wants to show that the group is making progress on the recovery course from the crisis. According to the company forecast, the operating result before interest and taxes should amount to around 1.5 billion euros. However, in the past year, Lufthansa has drawn a great deal of displeasure from travelers who have been affected by delays, change of plans and lost suitcases and then had to wait in call centers for long periods of time.
From the point of view of employee representatives, not all bottlenecks have been eliminated for this year either. CEO Spohr was nevertheless hopeful: “The combination of our first-class employees on the ground and on board, state-of-the-art aircraft and our latest range of seats on board will again position our airlines at the top of the premium segment.” In addition to Spohr’s contract, the Supervisory Board also extended the contract of the CFO Remco Steenbergen. Karl-Ludwig Kley, chairman of the supervisory board, said he was pleased that the contract extension was successful with both of them. “They will be particularly important in securing a successful future for the Lufthansa Group.”