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Lufthansa orders big from Boeing and Airbus

German flagship carrier Lufthansa has placed multi-billion euro orders with the EU planemaker Airbus and its US rival Boeing. Lufthansa’s biggest order ever aims to cut fuel costs on the airline’s long-distance flights.

Lufthansa had ordered 34 Boeing 777-9x planes as well as 25 Airbus A350-900 aircraft, Germany's biggest airline announced Thursday.

The first plane was scheduled to be delivered in 2016, Lufthansa said in a statement. Under a long-distance fleet modernization program older Boeing and Airbus aircraft would be phased out by 2025, it said.

The orders are worth about 14 billion euros ($19 billion) in catalogue prices, but airlines usually get a discount for orders of such magnitude.

Currently, the German flagship carrier operates 107 aircraft on its long-haul flights.

Goal - fuel efficiency

By replacing the mostly older aircraft models, Lufthansa said it hoped to cut fuel costs by a quarter. Moreover, the fleet renewal would secure some 13,000 jobs at the airline, Lufthansa added.

Watch video 01:18

Airbus A-350 completes maiden flight

The A350 plane is Airbus's latest model and completed its maiden flight this year. The first of the 350-seat plane is to be delivered to Qatar airways in 2014.

Boeing's 777X model range is still on the drawing board, and Lufthansa could be the first airline to use it.

Under a complete overhaul of its fleet, Lufthansa has so far ordered 295 new jet airliners, worth about 36 billion euros in list prices.

The airline is under pressure from low-cost carriers, and faces mounting fuel bills, which this year alone is expected to amount to about 7 billion euros.

uhe/ipj (Reuters, AFP, dpa)

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