The D-ALFF registered aircraft landed this morning (19 Feb.) at Frankfurt Airport after a transatlantic ferry flight from Boeing’s production site at Everett, Washington. It is another step in the current fleet rollover program of the carrier with more Triple Seven freighters to come.
Two in, two out
The sixth B777F will soon be followed by number seven, which is expected to be delivered by the U.S. aircraft manufacturer sometime this spring. Both jetliner are part of a larger order placed earlier this decade, consisting of five firmly ordered Triple Seven Freighters and five options. However, the program was put on the back burner due to market turbulences and a strict savings program put in place by the airline following the arrival of LH Cargo’s fifth B777F in 2015. Postponing the fleet modernization was LHC’s reaction to major losses the carrier suffered in fiscal 2016.
Since 2017 however, the air freight business is back to normal evidenced by LH Cargo’s adjusted EBIT totaling 242 million euros that year. And if market experts are not mistaken, the airline will present excellent financial figures for 2018 on 18 March as well during their upcoming annual press conference.
Three LHC options for B777F still stand in Boeing’s order books
Back on the sunny financial side of life, LH Cargo resumed their fleet modernization program last year that had been suspended in 2015. It comprises the acquisition of two B777Fs by converting earlier placed options into firm orders and the lease of two additional Triple Sevens flying in the colors of AeroLogic, a Leipzig-based 50/50 percent joint venture with DHL Express.
In autumn, two of their current 12 units comprising MD-11 freighter fleet will be taken out of service. Below the line Lufthansa Cargo will then operate seven Boeing 777Fs and ten MD-11F aircraft. The entire fleet rollover is due to be completed by 2025 at the latest.
Therefore, it can be expected that the three remaining options for Triple Sevens will be turned into firm orders in due time.