By Vanni Gibertini
Lufthansa Welcomes Its First Boeing 787 Aircraft
It has been a difficult few years for the American manufacturer Boeing: the significant issues that led to the grounding of the 737 MAX and, more recently, the delivery delays of the 787, as well as the development delays for the 777-9, have left the Seattle-based company to play catch-up with its European rival Airbus, which has been enjoying the success of its latest products.
For this reason, Boeing has every reason to celebrate the delivery of the first Boeing 787 to German airline Lufthansa. On Monday the aircraft registered D-ABPA left Paine Field Airport (PAE) in the Seattle area and landed at Frankfurt Airport at around 11 a.m. local time on Tuesday.
This is the first of 32 Boeing 787Dreamliners that Lufthansa will receive between now and 2027 when it will completely replace the 17 A340-300 aircraft currently in service for the German carrier. Lufthansa’s 285-aircraft strong fleet almost entirely consists of Airbus aircraft, with the only exceptions being 8 Boeing 747-400 (flagged to be replaced by the 777-9s) and 19 Boeing 747-8i aircraft of which Lufthansa is the largest operator.
“Today’s delivery to the Lufthansa Group is a significant milestone for both companies as we resume European 787 deliveries and Lufthansa receives its first 787. I am delighted to see Lufthansa join a growing set of airlines worldwide operating the industry’s most capable twin-engine airplane,” said Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes in PR Newswire. “With unmatched fuel efficiency and huge passenger appeal, the 787 will play an integral role in the Lufthansa Group’s long-haul network.”
This first Boeing 787-9 aircraft is configured with 26 Business Class seats, 21 Premium Economy seats and 247 Economy seats for a total capacity of 294 passengers. Lufthansa has decided to refurbish its business class product on this aircraft, providing aisle access to every seat that can be converted into a 2-meter-long bed. This is a preview of the new top-of-the-line product that Lufthansa will introduce next year in all four classes of service offered across its network: Economy, Premium Economy, Business and First.
“With the Boeing 787, we are introducing another modern aircraft type that is one of the most fuel-efficient long-haul aircraft in our fleet,” said Jens Ritter, the CEO of Lufthansa Airlines in a press release. “This will allow us to significantly further improve the average CO2 balance. This aircraft is sustainable and offers customers a premium flying experience.”
From October, the aircraft will be deployed on domestic routes in Germany to train and certify the crew on this new aircraft type for Lufthansa. Once this phase is completed, the aircraft will become part of the long-haul fleet and its first scheduled destination will be the Canadian city of Toronto.