Lufthansa announced today its Supervisory Board had approved the purchase of 34 Boeing (NYSE:BA) 777-9Xs and 25 Airbus A350-900s for a total of approximately $19 billion at list prices, although most buyers don't end up paying list prices. The wide-body jets will primarily replace existing aircraft.

Lufthansa stated, "The aim is to reduce the number of different models and fleet complexity ... and also replace existing aircraft with state-of-the-art airplanes." The first of the airplanes is expected to be available for flight by 2016, while older Boeing 747-400s and Airbus A340-300s will be phased out by 2025. Lufthansa highlighted that the new planes will result in 25% less fuel consumption, and an overall cost per seat savings of 20% per kilometer.

Boeing said it is "delighted that Lufthansa is continuing its long-standing partnership with Boeing by selecting the 777X for its future fleet development," and noted the two companies' relationship exceeds 50 years. Lufthansa presently operates 93 Boeing aircraft. Boeing does not disclose the price of the 777X on its website, but The Wall Street Journal estimated the list price for the 777X to likely approach $400 million.

The launch of Boeing's 777X family of planes is targeted for later this year, with entry into service around the end of the decade.

Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers, John Leahy said in a statement "we are honored that such a long-standing and prestigious customer as Lufthansa is coming back for more Airbus aircraft." The list price of the A350-900 stands at $287.7 million.

Airbus said Lufthsana also has an option to purchase 30 additional jets and the flexibility to convert some of the order to the larger A350-1000. Lufthansa is Airbus' biggest airline customer; it has 231 Airbus aircraft currently in operation.

Lufthansa's fleet today has roughly 107 wide-body (greater than 200 passengers) aircraft, while its Swiss and Australian subsidiaries have 31 and 12 wide-body airplanes, respectively.

According to Lufthansa, the investment marks the single largest "private-sector investment in the history of German industry," and will secure 13,000 jobs at Lufthansa in addition to thousands of jobs at manufacturers. In addition, Lufthansa noted it will introduce 295 new airplanes between 2013 and 2025, with a total order value of 36 billion euros ($48.8 billion).

 
 
 

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