Lufthansa Favors Boeing over Airbus in Latest Order for Long-Haul Planes

German airline Lufthansa AG said it would order 20 Boeing 747-8 planes, with purchase rights for 20 more, becoming the first passenger airline to order the new long-haul jet.

Lufthansa and Boeing downplayed head-to-head competition between the 747-8 and the A380, saying the Boeing jet fills a niche between the 300-seat and 500-seat categories.

Airbus' delays in producing the A380 also played no part in Lufthansa's orders of the large Boeing jets, Lufthansa senior vice president Nico Buchholz said at a news conference in Seattle, Washington.

"It is a well-evaluated decision for the 747-8, rather than a decision against something else," he said.

A freight version of the 747-8 has received 73 orders, with the first scheduled to be delivered to Cargolux in 2009.


AP Business Writers Curt Woodward in Seattle and Dave Carpenter in Chicago and Associated Press Writer Stephen Graham in Berlin contributed to this report.


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