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Lufthansa announces major fleet upgrade

By Hpanchal on October 5, 2011

The Lufthansa Supervisory Board has approved the purchase of four Airbus A320s, two A380s and one A330-300, along with five Embraer195 aircraft. The total order, valued at €1 billion, signals a major fleet overhaul for the German carrier. Aircraft deliveries are slated to begin in 2012.

Of the 12 aircraft ordered, both A380s and the A330-300 will be temporarily utilized on Lufthansa German Airlines’ long-haul routes, a company spokeswoman said. Lufthansa officials expect the A320s to be deployed on these routes as well. The Embrear craft, however, will supplement the Lufthansa Regional fleet, they said.

Company executives anticipate these aircraft improving flight operations tremendously. And the acquisition of the A320s, A380s and the A330, in particular, will augment the carrier’s fleet of more than 368 Airbus craft, they maintained. These planes will also enhance routes of all lengths, Lufthansa Group Fleet Management Executive Vice President Nico Buchholz said.

“I am delighted that this additional order will enable us to secure the development of our short-, medium- and long-haul fleets,” Buchholz said in a statement. “It is the next logical step in our strategy of ongoing fleet modernization with regard to fuel-efficiency, operating costs, noise and emissions.”

Lufthansa CEO and Chairman Christoph Franz echoed Buchholz’s statements. “The additional order for the Airbus A380 and A330 will underpin our plans on long-haul routes in the medium term,” Franz said. “Along with the aircraft we have already ordered, which will join our fleet over the next few years, it will increase our ability to take targeted action and respond flexibly to fluctuations in demand or market changes.”

Lufthansa currently has an order backlog of 85 A320s, nine A330s and nine A380s, an Airbus spokesman said.

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