Airbus delivered to Lufthansa their 2nd A320neo (New Engine Option) on March 31 and it will immediately be put into service from its base in Frankfurt today, April 1, 2016. This delivery now allows for the ‘NEO’ to be deployed between Frankfurt and Dusseldorf. The tail number for this bird is D-AINB.
The 2 ‘NEOS’ in the fleet now serve Frankfurt, Hamburg, Dusseldorf, and Munich.
LH has 116 A32x NEOs coming to the fleet over the coming years. 45 of of them will be A321s while the rest of them will be A320s. Five A320s will delivered to LH in 2016 and will all be based in Frankfurt. These airplanes are destined to replace the current and less efficient A320 and A321s in the fleet.
Engine issues delay A320neo deliveries
In a mild surprise, Airbus announced that it has postponed the delivery of the first A320neo (New Engine Option) for a few weeks in order to smooth out a few issues with the Pratt and Whitney engines being used on the aircraft. Airbus is calling the reason for the delay ‘technical complexities’ while Pratt and Whitney refers to the delay as ‘documentation issues’. I do know that one point of contention was the start-up time for each engine. According to LH sources, the engines have an unusually long start-up time of 2.5 to 3.5 minutes. This is believed to be part of the reason for the delivery delay.
Airbus has not provided any specific target date for delivery.
Initially, Qatar was to receive the first A320 but opted out of the delivery due to engine concerns. That opened the door for LH to become the first operator of the A320 but apparently they too are not satisfied with the issues surrounding the engines thus the delay.
Lufthansa had planned to unveil the A320 on its Frankfurt – Hamburg route on January 6 . These plans have now obviously been canceled and no new launch date has been established.
SWISS is inching closer and closer to taking delivery of their first Boeing 777 aircraft in January.
With her out of final assembly, she is being prepped for paint and according to Matt of PaineAirport.com, she’s scheduled to be ferried to Portland, Oregon on December 23. Once at PDX, she’ll spend a few days getting her white and red and will be brought back to Paine Field for final preparations ahead of a January delivery.
Matt was generous to share some of his photos showing HB-JNA in Paine Field over the last last few days:
LX-JNA takes the runway for her Maiden Flight on December 15.
And just a few minutes ago, he shared this photo of JNA being prepared for her flight to ‘PDX’ tomorrow:
If all goes well and to schedule with her delivery, she’ll debut on intra-European routes in February so that crews have a chance to acclimate to their newest aircraft before it is assigned to long haul routes. Ultimately 9 777 will serve in the LX fleet.
You may want to follow Matt on Twitter (@mattcawby) for regular updates on the newest aircraft coming out of the Boeing factory in Everett!
Austrian’s first ERJ is set to arrive in Vienna later this week after spending the last few weeks at Austrian Technik’s satellite in Bratislava (BTS). The ERJ195 was painted in BTS and will now take a 5 minute flight from BTS to Vienna on October 31.
After arriving in VIE, the aircraft will undergo additional cabin renovations and will be used for pilot and cabin crew training before entering service in January. OE-LWD, as she is registered, will also be christened on November 13 in Vienna and will be given her ‘nickname’.
16 additional ERJ195 aircraft will join the OS fleet as they are transferred away from Lufthansa’s Cityline fleet. All of them will sport the ‘myAustrian’ livery as well.
The transfer of all the new ERJs should be complete by early 2017 and they will replace the Fokker aircraft currently in the OS fleet.
Perhaps I’ll have a chance to stop by the BTS facility in November and take a look at the next ERJ as it is being prepared……
Over the past week Lufthansa Group made 3 separate announcements concerning the fleet, including new orders and an update for existing orders.
The first announcement dealt with SWISS and their decision to order 3 additional 777 aircraft. These 777-300ERs will join the 6 777s already on order from Boeing and will begin to show up in the fleet during 2016. The 777 aircraft will allow SWISS to start retiring a portion of the 15 A340-300 aircraft currently in service.
SWISS now has 9 777-300ER aircraft on order.
Next, Lufthansa provided an update on their A350 order. Beginning at the end of 2016, the first of 25 A350s will start showing up in the fleet with the first handful of the type operating out of Munich and will allow for the gradual phase out of A330 and A340 aircraft. Ultimately Lufthansa will have 25 A350s in the fleet based in Frankfurt and Munich. One outstanding feature of the A350 is the fact that it will only take 3/4 of a gallon of fuel to carry one passenger 62 miles (2.9 liters per 100km). That equates to a 25% increase in fuel efficiency over most new aircraft today AND it’s 30% quieter.
LH’s new A350 will bring a distinct new look to the fleet in Frankfurt and Munich.
To round out the busy week of announcements, SWISS announced that it will be the first operator of the new Bombardier CS series beginning in the first half of 2016. In 2009, SWISS was announced as the launch customer for the type.
SWISS’ new Bombardier CS100
For those of you attending the Paris Air Show, Bombardier will have a CS100 on display in SWISS colors. Bombardier also plans to bring the SWISS CS100 to Zurich after the air show as part of its tour. Hopefully, all of the delays are behind the program and we can finally start seeing these new planes replace the aging Jumbolinos!