BARCELONA, April 9 Weeks after approving $12
billion in plane orders, Lufthansa is studying a
further purchase of "several dozen" long-distance twin-engined
jets as it continues to modernize its fleet, a senior executive
said on Tuesday.
Germany's flag carrier last month approved purchases of 108
aircraft, dominated by a 100-plane order for medium-haul planes
awarded to European jetmaker Airbus.
"We have addressed the large-capacity single-aisle
requirement and also have the top end of the spectrum with the
A380 and 747-8 pretty well covered," Nico Buchholz, executive
vice president of group fleet management, told Reuters.
"We will be focusing next on the 200-300 seat segment with
the aim of making a decision by the end of the year," he said.
"The total size of our fleet operated in that segment is
around 100 aircraft. We wouldn't replace all of them at once. We
are always conservative with our orders and don't like to
overcommit," he said in an interview on the sidelines of an AFCA
air finance conference.
Lufthansa's options include Boeing 787 Dreamliners, Airbus
A350 and Boeing 777s for the order, which is likely to be
fiercely contested between the leading plane manufacturers.
"We have not yet decided how many aircraft would be
involved," Buchholz said, but agreed with a suggestion it could
be "several dozen" jets.
Such a volume implies an order potentially worth around $10
billion at catalogue prices but airlines usually negotiate
The Lufthansa group, which includes SWISS and Austrian
Airlines, has a reputation for exhaustive technical analysis and
is seen as a key battleground as Airbus and Boeing vie for
advantage in one of the most lucrative parts of the market.
Europe's largest airline group aims to update a varied fleet
including some ageing Airbus A340 and Boeing 767 planes.