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​Lufthansa outlines A350 delivery schedule

Lufthansa is set to receive six more Airbus A350s this year.

The German carrier – Europe's second A350 operator after Finnair – took delivery of its first aircraft of the type in December and plans to put it in service on the Munich-Delhi route on 10 February.

At a public unveiling ceremony for the long-haul twinjet in Munich yesterday, Lufthansa Group chief executive Carsten Spohr said the airline was scheduled to introduce seven A350-900s this year.

This is part of a group-wide investment of around $2 billion in new aircraft this year, also spanning 14 Bombardier CSeries jets and two Boeing 777-300ERs for Swiss, plus a total of 14 Airbus A320ceos and A320neos, Spohr adds.

Lufthansa's second A350 is to be delivered later this month and enter service on the Munich-Boston route on 14 March. A third is slated for delivery in late March.

The airline's in-house maintenance division is completing the interior installation for its A350 fleet as Airbus is delivering the aircraft without premium economy seats and certain cabin features such as a self-service area for business-class passengers.

Lufthansa has orders for 25 A350s and decided to station the first 10 aircraft in Munich.

Spohr describes that decision as testimony to Lufthansa's "first-class co-operation" with Munich airport, which he describes as "Europe's best airport by a wide margin". The Frankfurt-based carrier operates the terminal of its secondary hub in Munich as a joint venture with the airport operator.

The 10 aircraft are scheduled to be delivered by the end of 2018 and will replace the airline's A340-600s.

Lufthansa has 24 A340-600s, but six of them have been parked. All the active aircraft are based in Munich.

The remaining 15 A350s are to be delivered by the end of 2023's first quarter. Lufthansa says it has not yet decided where these twinjets will be stationed.

Spohr says Lufthansa's mainline has "regained" a position where it is competitive and investments can be made. Referring to a long-standing labour dispute with pilot union Vereinigung Cockpit, he says the airline has yet to fulfil a third criteria of "hopefully" becoming "capable of growth" again.

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