German flag carrier Lufthansa AG said on Wednesday it had begun to modernize its long-haul fleet by ordering 20 Boeing 747-8 aircraft and seven A340s manufactured by Boeing's European rival Airbus.
The total catalogue value of the order is 5.2 billion euros (US$6.9 billion), it said in a statement.
It will take delivery of the Boeing planes from 2010. The Airbus planes will be delivered in 2008 and 2009, Lufthansa said, adding that the orders are to replace existing aircraft but also to take account of expansion.
Lufthansa is the first airline to place an order for the passenger version of Boeing's 747-8.
Until now Boeing had won 44 orders for freighter versions of the jet.
Airbus, based in southwestern France, has been plagued by embarrassing delays to its A380 superjumbo program, while Boeing has forged ahead with its best-selling 787 Dreamliner.
Boeing started development of the 747-8 Intercontinental a year ago.
The new jumbo jet will be nearly 6m longer than the existing 747-400 and will use the same fuel-efficient General Electric engines that will power the Dreamliner jet.
It will seat 467 passengers, up from 416 in an older version, and compared to 550 for a typical A380.
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