Lufthansa German Airlines, which has taken delivery of more Boeing jetliners than any other airline outside the U.S., flew a new milestone Boeing 747-400 home to its Frankfurt headquarters today. The 747-400 is the 375th Boeing jetliner delivered to Lufthansa and its subsidiary carriers.
The airline will use its newest 747-400 on intercontinental routes from Frankfurt. It joins 110 other Boeing airplanes in the Lufthansa fleet - including more than 40 747s.
Walt Orlowski, Boeing vice president and general manager - 747 Program, commented on the long, close relationship between Boeing and Lufthansa, and praised the German airline for providing ongoing input to help Boeing improve the 747 over many years. He specifically praised Lufthansa for its more recent input on the 747X family of airplanes currently in development.
"We commend Lufthansa for working together with Boeing on our new airplane development efforts since the dawn of the jet age, and especially for its role in defining the 747X airplanes," Orlowski said.
Lufthansa participated in the first 747X customer symposium last June and continues to provide valuable input to refine the design of the 747X airplanes. The 747X family of airplanes includes the 747X and 747X Stretch, either of which is scheduled to enter service in 2005. The 747X will be the world's longest-range airplane and the 747X Stretch becomes the world's largest 747. The 747X family also will offer two versions of the 747X Freighter - a high-capacity stretched model, and an ultra long-range freighter.
Lufthansa began its jet age 44 years ago when it became the launch customer for the Boeing 707-430 airplane. The launch came only six months after the first ever Boeing jetliner, the 707-120, was introduced. Lufthansa then went on to order and take delivery of 27 more 707s over the next four years. Between 1961 and 1977, Lufthansa also added 53 Boeing medium-range 727s to its fleet.
In the 1960s when Boeing announced it was studying a new shorter-range jetliner, to be called the 737, Lufthansa stepped forward once more. On Feb. 15, 1965, the international carrier helped Boeing launch the 737-100 with an order for 21 airplanes.
Lufthansa was one of the first airlines to order the 747-100, the first version of the venerable Boeing 747, in 1966. Therefore, it was fitting the carrier should agree to be the launch customer for the first Boeing 747 Freighter. Lufthansa ordered two of the giant 747-200 Freighters in March 1969.
In May 1986, the airline ordered three 747-400s, helping to launch the newest version of the Boeing 747. The first 747-400 was ordered by Northwest Airlines in October 1985.
Condor Flugdienst, one of Lufthansa's subsidiaries, had its turn as launch customer in 1996. On Sept. 2, 1996, at the Farnborough Air Show in England, Condor announced an intention to order 12 757-300s. The 757-300 is a derivative of the 757-200.
The count of 375 airplanes includes deliveries of DC-10s, MD-11s and Boeing 707s, 727s, 737s, 747s, 757s, 767s.