Lufthansa opens tender for 100 narrowbodies, eight widebodies

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Boeing and Airbus are now entering into discussions with Lufthansa to claim newly-authorised orders for eight widebody aircraft and 100 single-aisle aircraft, the German flag carrier says today.

Lufthansa's supervisory board in a meeting earlier today cleared the company's executives to begin the negotiations with the airframers.

Lufthansa currently operates a mix of Airbus and Boeing widebodies and narrowbodies, but plans to phase out a fleet of 17 Boeing 737-300s and 22 737-500s by 2016.

Lufthansa already signed an order in July 2011 for 25 re-engined A320neos and five A321neos powered by Pratt & Whitney PW1100G engines.

Airbus plans to introduce the A320neo into service in 2015, and Boeing schedules entry into service for the re-engined 737 Max in 2017.

Lufthansa last selected the 747-8I on the widebody side of the fleet with a 20-aircraft order that has been reduced to 19. It also operates A330, A340s and A380s.

The negotiating process was launched as Lufthansa posted a net profit in 2012 of $1.32 billion (€990 million) on a 4.9% increase in revenues to $40.1 billion.

Lufthansa chief executive Christroph Franz cautioned against interpreting the results as so positive that the carrier can be allowed to slow its ongoing restructuring process.

"It is now all the more important to invest all available resources in the Group in order to drive that future programme forward," Franz says. The partially-release financial update includes restructuring costs of $213 million that includes the beginning of a transfer of flight operations by Austrian Airlines to Tyrolean Airways.