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Lufthansa Adds 4 Airbus A350s in Latest Fleet Transformation Step

Edward Russell
October 3rd, 2021 at 3:36 PM EDT

Lufthansa has committed to four more Airbus A350s as part of its fleet transformation during the Covid-19 pandemic. The deal brings to 14 the number of widebodies ordered during the crisis, which has seen most of Lufthansa’s older four-engine jets retired.

Frankfurt-based Lufthansa will lease the four new A350s from Avolon, Goshawk, and SMBC Aviation Capital, group CEO Carsten Spohr said at the IATA Annual General Meeting in Boston on Sunday. Deliveries will begin in 2022.

“This is another puzzle piece of our fleet transformation,” he said.

Lufthansa announced plans to retire its Airbus A340s and A380s, and Boeing 747-400s early in the pandemic. The A380s and 747-400s are leaving, while the airline will continue to fly five A340-600s from its Munich hub for roughly two years, said Spohr.

A Lufthansa spokesperson clarified that the airline will temporarily reactivate up to eight 747-400s to make up for delays to its Boeing 777Xs over the next two years. Lufthansa has orders for 20 777-9s.

The Lufthansa Group’s plans to simplify its widebody fleet from March. (Image by Lufthansa)

Airlines have used the crisis to retire older jets in favor of simpler and newer fleets. Air France-KLM also retired its four-engine jets, while others like Delta Air Lines and Latam Airlines Group have streamlined their fleets.

With its latest deals, Lufthansa will eventually operate 50 A350-900s. It also has commitments for another 30 Boeing 787-9s with the first due in the first half of 2022.

Spohr expressed confidence in the travel recovery at the conference. He reiterated the view of a “sustained recovery” that the airline outlined at the end of September. Lufthansa saw U.S. bookings jump 300 percent during the 72 hours after the country said it would ease entry restrictions for vaccinated travelers.

Story updated with spokesperson comment on 747-400 reactivations.

Edward Russell
October 3rd, 2021 at 3:36 PM EDT

Photo credit: Lufthansa has committed to more A350s for its long-haul fleet. Lufthansa

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