According to aviation website airliners.de, the Lufthansa Group intends to move some of its 183 widebody aircraft from Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings, Lufthansa and Swiss between themselves in 2019. The necessary conditions have already been created for this.
In the coming months, some A330 and A340 long-haul jets will be exchanged between the airlines of the Lufthansa Group, a corporate spokeswoman declared to airliners.de, without being able to say how many aircraft will be affected by this decision.
First effects on Eurowings and Brussels Airlines
A foregone conclusion in business circles is that two more A330 aircraft from Lufthansa will go to Eurowings next year in order to supplement Brussels Airlines’ offer on long-haul routes, as well as to replace the A340 jets.
Brussels Airlines currently operates two A330s for Lufthansa’s low-cost subsidiary Eurowings (another widebody was added last week for the route to New York / Newark) and also two A340s from Düsseldorf. Switching to four A330s would bring two benefits, according to observers: on one hand, the two aeroplanes over 18.4 years old are older than the other long-haul aircraft of Eurowings (average: 14.3 years). On the other hand, the entire intercontinental fleet of the low-cost platform would be harmonised to a type (A330), which simplifies maintenance.
Which aeroplanes exactly will join the Eurowings fleet to replace the two four-engines aircraft is not yet clear. “We cannot say anything about the actual base of individual aircraft registrations within the fleet,” said the spokeswoman.
Cityline gets rid of the A340s
At the same time, eight A340 aircraft previously operated by Lufthansa’s regional subsidiary Cityline are to return to Lufthansa mainline. They had previously been relocated to Cityline as a lever in the 14-round wage dispute with the pilots.
Unification of the paintwork
The fact that Lufthansa simply wants to switch planes back and forth within the Group became clear recently when the Group announced a uniform base coat for its airlines. From now on, the white on the jets of Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings, Lufthansa and Swiss is the same colour.
In addition, the lettering “Lufthansa Group” printed in grey, has been removed on the back of the aircraft of the Austrian unit. Also, engines on Eurowings aircraft are no longer painted in grey.
The steps are designed to ensure that entire aeroplanes, as well as individual components, can be exchanged between the five airlines without major paintwork. In addition, this applies to the long-haul aircraft as well as to the short- and medium-haul fleet.