Lufthansa will potentially acquire six more Airbus A350-900s previously operated by other airlines, including LATAM and South African Airways, to further bolster its capacity for the upcoming peak travel season.
The six Airbus 350-900 aircraft, registered as N285BN, N286BN, N287BN, N264AR, OE-IPX, and OE-IPK, are, according to planespotters.net data, marked as due to arrive at the German airline. N285BN, N286BN, N287BN, N264AR were previously owned by LATAM Airlines Brazil, a subsidiary of the LATAM Airlines Group. According to ch-aviation.com data, all four ex-LATAM Airlines Brazil A350s exited the carrier’s fleet sometime in 2021 and are owned by Deucalion Aviation.
LATAM Airlines Brazil took delivery of the aircraft, now registered as N285BN, N286BN, N287BN, and N264AR, in May 2016, August 2016, December 2016, and December 2019, respectively.
Meanwhile, South African Airways was the last airline to operate OE-IPX and OE-IPK. Both Airbus A350-900s exited the South African airline’s fleet in 2020 and are owned by Avolon, per ch-aviation.com data. Prior to that, the aircraft were flown by Hainan Airlines, which operated both for only nine months between January 2019 and October 2019.
If the sale goes ahead, it will not be the first time Lufthansa has welcomed second-hand Airbus A350-900s into its fleet. According to the airline’s 2022 annual report, since “many airlines cancelled orders at short notice and terminated leases ahead of schedule” during the pandemic, the market had “an increased range of modern aircraft available at attractive conditions and subject to short delivery periods”. As such, Lufthansa welcomed five Boeing 787-9 from a canceled order and four Airbus A350-900s from a lease that was terminated early.
“These orders benefited from favourable purchase prices and low lease rates as well as short delivery times. All four A350-900 aircraft were delivered in the first six months of 2022, while two 787-9s were delivered in the second half of 2022,” the report continued.
All four Airbus A350-900s welcomed by Lufthansa in H1 2022 were former Philippines Airlines aircraft, according to ch-aviation.com data.
“The Lufthansa Group is currently in advanced negotiations for further long-haul aircraft that may be available at short notice. We cannot provide any further information beyond this at the present time,” said a Lufthansa spokesperson in a statement to AeroTime.
AeroTime approached Avolon and Deucalion Aviation for comment.
UPDATE March 31, 2023, 2:30 PM (UTC +3): The article was updated with a statement from Lufthansa.