Lufthansa is mixing up its Boeing order as the manufacturer struggles with getting regulatory approval for its largest aircraft, the 777X. The German airline now is changing its order for that airplane to seven Boeing 787-9s, to be delivered in 2025-2026.
But that comes with its own risks. Boeing currently can’t deliver any 787s, as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has mandated more inspections on the aircraft. Boeing last month said it had provided the regulator with its plan for fixes on the 787. The FAA has not provided a timeline for when it will sign off on the plan and deliveries can resume. Air Lease Corp. has estimated the 787 delivery delays have cost it hundreds of millions of dollars.
The 777X, or 777-9, similarly has come under regulatory scrutiny, with its entry-into-service slipping from next year to 2025, although the final decision rests with the FAA and other regulators. Lufthansa’s order signals that the airline believes the schedule could slip again.
Lufthansa’s order also includes 10 freighters, as the airline said it believes surface cargo bottlenecks now will continue for the foreseeable future, and shippers will divert more cargo to air freight. The airline is ordering three 777Fs for delivery beginning this year, and seven 777-8Fs, to be delivered from 2027.