Lufthansa Group has ordered a total of ten freighters including three current-technology Boeing 777Fs and seven 777-8Fs, Boeing's next-generation freighter.
"In addition, leases for two Boeing 777Fs, which run through 2024, will be extended for seven years each through 2031," according to an official statement.
The first of the 777F aircraft, which could be acquired on the used market at short notice, is expected as early as July 2022, the statement added. "Two more brand-new B777Fs will follow at a later date. These new additions will make it possible to market additional freight capacities in the short- to medium-term with an aircraft type currently available in the industry and established in the Lufthansa Cargo fleet."
Delivery of the seven B77-8Fs is expected at a later date between 2027 and 2030.
"We are very pleased that we have been able to set an important course for our future and the growth of Lufthansa Cargo with the decision to order ten additional widebody freighters," says Dorothea von Boxberg, Chairperson of the Executive Board and CEO, Lufthansa Cargo. "We can offer our customers significantly more capacity in the short- and long- term, and also ensure that we operate the most modern and efficient freighters in their class. The investments in the next freighter generation, the Boeing 777-8F, will significantly reduce CO2 emissions. We are thus taking another important step on our way to CO2-neutral airfreight. These major investments in Lufthansa Cargo are a sign of confidence in the future development of the airfreight market and in the role that Lufthansa Cargo will continue to play in it."
The new Boeing 777-8F has a range of 8,167 kilometres (4410 nautical miles) and a maximum payload of 118 metric tonnes. Compared to the 777F version, it has 17 percent more cargo volume.
Lufthansa Cargo's current freighter fleet consists of 15 Boeing 777Fs, four of which are operated by AeroLogic. In addition, there is the capacity of two A321 freighters, and the belly capacity of passenger aircraft operated by Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Eurowings Discover.
34 firm orders for Boeing 777-8Fs
Boeing launched the new 777-8 freighter in January, and has already booked 34 firm orders for the model.
"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," says Ihssane Mounir, Senior vice president of Commercial Sales and Marketing, Boeing. "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 15-25 percent compared to previous models with a noise footprint up to 50 percent smaller than their predecessors, helping to advance the Lufthansa Group's sustainability objectives."
The 2021 Boeing Commercial Market Outlook projects a 70 percent increase in the global freighter fleet by 2040, including approximately 450 new large widebody freighters such as the new 777-8Fs and 777Fs.
What's next for freighters?
Tom Crabtree, Regional Director – Airline Market Analysis, Marketing & Business Development, Boeing talks about the future for the global air freight industry in a rapidly changing business environment.