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Lufthansa is about to order long-range aircraft to replace its older A340s and 747-400s

Lufthansa is evaluating and will order Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, Boeing’s still-to-be-launched 777X, and Airbus’s A350 to replace its older A340s and 747-400s. Lufthansa’s board of directors and supervisory board are expected to approve in mid-September an order for about 50 wide-body jets worth more than USD$10 billion at list prices, according to two people familiar with the matter. ( More...

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PhotoFinish 1
Another airline replacing 747s and A340s with some combination of 777s, 787s, and/or A350s.

You can say good-bye to most 4-engined commercial passenger airliners.
Alan Winn 1
Right, the 777-300ER is doing a great job replacing the older 747s and A340s, the 777X series could just about kill the passenger market for the 747.
microwalda 1
Lufthansa has orders on B747-8i and A380, both 4-engined aircraft.
Torsten Hoff 1
True, but the CEO is already talking about replacing them:
Alan Winn 1
Very good point Torsten, but I checked with our editor Aram Gesar, and he said we checked that statement's accuracy, and we were told that Lufthansa CEO meant 747-400s and that the airline is very happy about the performance of the 747-8I and that it has no intention of retiring them early.
I think they need the A380 and 747-8 jumbos for the big hub to big hub traffic.
PhotoFinish 1
Good point Alan. There was discussion on that very point here within the past month, about misunderstanding the replacement of 747-4s (not 747-8i) with 2 engine aircraft in the upcoming decade.

But the point remains that 747s and A340s are being replaced with twin engined aircraft (777, 787, A350). That seems to be a trend at many/most operators of large 4-engine fleets that many/ most/ all of their 4-engine aircraft are being replaced with twins.

There's no denying that the 4-engine passemger aircraft market is only a shell of its' former self and will continue weak for the foreseeable future. The current 4-engine sales leader A380 has only delivered just barely 100 planes during the past decade (its'entire history). Historically many more 747s have sold, but not too many are being delivered for passenger operations anymore. (This sales rank between the 2 might change if 747 unit costs are competitive, but neither will sell too many.) One announcement after another of carriers replacing their 4-engine fleets with twins just reinforces that reality.

So, you can say good-bye to most 4-engined commercial passenger airliners.

(despite there being a small number of 747-4/8s and A380s flying, mostly for thick hub to hub routes).
PhotoFinish 0
As for the A380, there are only barely 100 delivered and some airlines are already experiencing difficulty finding routes to profitably support the A380 capacity. That doesn't bode well for the potential of sales growth for the A380 (outside of the Emirates special world).

As for 747, the 777 can carry almost as many passengers but fir much less. The 777X will blur the lines between the 777-747 market, with even greater capacity and even greater efficiency. That's great for the sakes potential of the 777, but not so great for the 747.
Alan Winn 0
I agree, the market is asking for twin engined large aircraft, and all the orders/deliveries analysis points in that direction. Only a few large carriers controlling big hubs will need the big jumbos, plus passengers prefer point to point travel, specially on long haul flights.
PhotoFinish 0
Qantas needs a suitable replacement for the 744 on their SYD to DFW route. It is a huge benefit for east coast travelers to Oz as it avoids the dreaded LAX. 777 would work I believe, although I do not know what version. Comments?
tracy adams 1
too bad


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