Lufthansa and the 747-8By IAG | January 3rd, 2013 | Posted in Aviation News | No Comments
Please start here. Lufthansa was the lead customer for the -8i model, and we understand, got a great deal as part of the discontinuation of Connexion. Lufthansa was Connexion's biggest fan and flew with the antennae installed for years hoping for a solution after it was shutdown. In the end, Panasonic came through for them.
Meanwhile Boeing and Lufthansa also had an unpleasant experience with the cancellation of the MD-11 program. The airline liked the freighter's capabilities and it had been a happy DC-10 customer. But Boeing was culling anything MD related and one airline customer wasn't enough. Boeing did the same thing to the "717" – even though its lead customer, AirTran, asked for a larger version with transcon ability. AirTran upgraded to the 737 and Lufthansa went with the 777F.
So what to make of the 747-8 news? Not too much. Lufthansa has slowed its deliveries because it wants to watch capex as the EU market starts to slowdown. By all accounts the airplane has pleased its fleet managers and there are even stories of it encouraging other Star Alliance members to consider the 747-8. Therefore even as the 747-8i's role at the airline is not as prominent as that of the A380, Lufthansa has not turned its back on the 747-8. Readers should note that Lufthansa buys airplanes unlike most other airlines – it buys airplanes for specific routes and markets. That is why it has a more mixed fleet than any other similar sized airline. "Horses for courses" is the watchword.