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Lufthansa Group order includes North Charleston-made aircraft

Aerospace
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German-based Lufthansa Group says it is modernizing its long-haul passenger with new purchases that include seven 787-9 Dreamliner jets from Boeing’s North Charleston plant.

Lufthansa's most recent order means work for the North Charleston plant. (Photo/Provided)Built with lightweight composite materials, the 787 family has an airport-noise footprint that is 60% smaller than the previous generation of airplanes, making it ideal for Lufthansa Group airport communities, according to a news release.

The purchase will bring Lufthansa Group’s total order for the 787 Dreamliner to 32 firm orders, most expected for a 2022 to 2026 delivery, according to the news release. Lufthansa also is a launch customer for Boeing’s 777X passenger airplane, with 20 firm orders.

Fourteen 787 Dreamliner models were delivered in 2021, according to Boeing’s investor data, despite production and quality control snags over the past two years.

Boeing and the Lufthansa Group also announced Monday that the airline group will continue its decision to strengthen Lufthansa’s cargo operations with an order for seven 777-8 Freighters, the industry's newest cargo plane.

The decision is a keystone of the German airline’s overhaul of its fleet since 2020. Over the past two years, 83 aircraft have been retired, while 33 have been added to the entire fleet, according to Lufthansa.

The Group has also placed a new order for two 777 Freighters to add to its cargo fleet, providing extra cargo capacity in the near-term until the delivery of its first 777-8 Freighter.

"With the selection of our newest freighter, Lufthansa continues its long history of firsts with Boeing airplane programs, becoming the first European customer for the 777-8 Freighter," Ihssane Mounir, Boeing’s senior vice president of commercial sales and marketing, said in the release. "With the investment in the 777 and 787 fleet, the Lufthansa Group will operate the most advanced, fuel-efficient twin-engine airplanes in the industry. Each of these airplanes reduces emissions by 15 to 25% compared to previous models with a noise footprint up to 50% smaller than their predecessors, helping to advance the Lufthansa Group's sustainability objectives."

Boeing launched the new 777-8 Freighter in January and has already booked 34 firm orders for the model. The company says its 777-8 Freighter offers the highest payload and the lowest fuel use, emissions and operating cost per metric ton of any large freighter.

With nearly identical payload and range capabilities to previous models plus 30% better fuel efficiency and 25% better operating costs per metric ton, Boeing said the 777-8 Freighter will be the ideal choice as operators replace aging freighters later this decade.

The 2021 Boeing Commercial Market Outlook projects a 70% increase in the global freighter fleet by 2040, including approximately 450 new large widebody freighters such as the new 777-8 Freighter and 777 Freighter, according to the new release. The first delivery of the 777-8 freighter is anticipated in 2027.

"The continuous modernization of Lufthansa Group's long-haul fleet is one of our top priorities,” Dr. Detlef Kayser, member of the executive board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, said in the release. “Therefore, we are very pleased to further invest into the newest generation of Boeing aircraft. The purchase will complement our existing orders and further reduce our operating costs, enhance fuel efficiency and provide state-of-the-art customer experiences. Moreover, the purchase highlights our commitment towards enhancing sustainable aviation.”

Reach Molly Hulsey at 864-720-1223.

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