Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr claims his airline has not lost faith in Boeing and is mulling a narrowbody order for over 100 aircraft.
Speaking about Boeing, Spohr told Reuters:
We have not lost our trust in Boeing. They’ve built wonderful aircraft over the decades, and I am sure they will fix the current issue…
Between Boeing and the FAA, I think this country will not rest until you have gone to the ground of what really happened there and is there something to improve.
This comes in the context of Lufthansa’s fleet renewal program. The German carrier plans to retire older Airbus A319 and Bombardier CRJ planes starting next year. To replace them, it is mulling a “six digit” aircraft order between the Boeing 737 MAX and Airbus A320neo.
Now all of this effusive praise for Boeing, of course, could just be a clever negotiating strategy. If Spohr said Lufthansa had no faith in the Boeing 737 program, that would not give Airbus much of an incentive to offer a deal on its A320neos, would it? Lufthansa currently does not have any 737s in its fleet, having retired its final 737-300 in October 2016. Meanwhile, Lufthansa was the launch customer for the Airbus A320neo and has more than 270 A320s already on order for the Lufthansa Group.
But I doubt the 737 MAX is out of the running. The problem will be fixed and Lufthansa has proved a loyal Boeing customer over the years. 787-9s and 777Xs are already on the way.
Even though we are are in a time of waiting as crash investigations on the 737 MAX continue, airlines cannot afford to sit on the sidelines and wait. As Lufthansa continues to upgrade and renew its fleet, it does not have the luxury of an extended delay.