The German airline currently has no need for new aircraft. Two Airbus A321 Neo ordered by Lufthansa could go to the Bundeswehr.
At the end of March Lufthansa had 96 pending orders for A320 Neo. These included 61 Airbus A320 Neo (84 ordered minus 23 already delivered) and 35 Airbus A321 Neo (40 ordered minus 5 already handed over). However, it is completely open when the German airline will be needing almost 100 new short- and medium-haul aircraft again.
At present, things are moving in the other direction. Lufthansa is downsizing its fleet as a result of the Corona crisis. The magazine Der Spiegel, referring to internal statements by German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, is now reporting something that might come in handy for Lufthansa. According to the magazine, Airbus has found a new buyer for two of the A321 Neo.
Will A321 Neo become medical stations?
Since Lufthansa could not accept the planes due to the crisis, they are now to be delivered to the German Air Force, the magazine writes. The two A321 are to become troop transporters and flying medical stations. Lufthansa told aeroTELEGRAPH that it traditionally supports the German government and the Bundeswehr, among other things in aircraft maintenance, a spokesperson said.
«Should we be able to help beyond that, we are ready to do so.» However, there are currently no definite decisions regarding the transfer of individual jets, and nothing to comment on. A spokesman for the military said that it was not possible to comment at this time because no formal documents had been submitted yet.
Cancellation and postponement possible
Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr had already said in March that the company was negotiating with Airbus and Boeing about changes in deliveries, as no new aircraft were needed at the moment. «The problem is that this is probably what all airlines in the world are doing right now,» he said, highlighting the challenge for airlines and manufacturers.
The Lufthansa boss explained that the issue of «which ones do we cancel, which ones do we postpone» was an overall package that was discussed with the aircraft manufacturers. Meanwhile, Airbus must already find new customers for aircraft that other airlines currently no longer want. For instance, four Airbus A320 Neo and two A321 Neo will soon be ready for collection. Originally they were destined for Air Asia, but the low-cost airline from Malaysia no longer wants the planes.
The German Armed Forces had already taken over an Airbus A321 Ceo decommissioned by Lufthansa in 2018. The aircraft had previously been extensively converted. Among other things, it received a VIP cabin, two additional tanks and the possibility of converting part of the delegation area into a hospital ward.