Lufthansa will order five 777Fs

Lufthansa Cargo (LHC) has chosen Boeing’s 777F as the path to an expanded main-deck freight operation, and has signed a tentative agreement to purchase five units with deliveries beginning in 2013.

We note that the five units in the Lufthansa order are not among the seven units currently on order from unidentified customers, and once the order is firmed, it will bring Boeing’s total firm orders for the 777F to 88, with another 15-unit order from FedEx conditional only on the US Congress making no change in the way FedEx’s labor relations are governed.

Earlier this year LHC said it wanted to add the equivalent of six MD-11Fs to its freighter fleet to meet expected demand over the next few years, but that it had not yet decided whether to opt for 777Fs or freighter-converted 747-400s. Given the operating economics of the two types, and the fact that LHC already had partial ownership of eight 777Fs through its AeroLogic joint venture (with DHL), the decision to go with the 777F comes as no surprise.

Lufthansa cargo currently operates eighteen MD-11Fs in its own fleet, and in addition to the AeroLogic jv mentioned above, is also a joint venture partner with Air China in Shenzhen-based Jade Cargo International, which operates six 747-400ERFs.


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