Lufthansa Flight Training (LFT) is cooperating with the German pilot and cabin crew training specialist TFC Käufer by sharing an Airbus A320 full flight simulator at the latter's headquarters in Essen.
LFT will move the CAE-built simulator from its current location in Frankfurt, where it operates a number of A320 FFS's. The simulator will become operational in October.
TFC Käufer only owns fixed-base A320 training devices and so has historically needed to hire external FFS capacity, but will now gain direct access to the equipment. LFT's objective, meanwhile, is to move closer to customers in the populous Rhine-Ruhr region.
Lufthansa's Cologne-based low-cost subsidiary Germanwings and Air Berlin, with its regional base in Dusseldorf, will be initial clients for the shared FFS.
Avoiding travel and accommodation expenses can reduce training costs by up to a third, says an LFT spokeswoman. Essen will become the training company's fifth A320 FFS location after Frankfurt, Munich, Berlin and Vienna. TFC Käufer has additional bases in Berlin and Munich.
LFT denies that the move could potentially create additional cost savings over its in-house operations. This has "nothing to do" with the current 'Score' efficiency programme of parent Lufthansa, the spokeswoman insists, referring to the broader cost-cutting drive that aims to save €1.5 billion across the group's various divisions.
Christian Käufer, managing director of TFC Käufer, says that there are no plans for the installation of additional simulators. However, the LFT spokeswoman did not rule out that cooperation could be expanded at some point in the future.
Apart from qualifying flight and cabin crew, TFC Käufer also manufactures cabin training devices and has sold a number of simulators to LFT.