Airbus strikes £9 billion deal with Lufthansa
AN INTERNATIONAL airline has struck a mammoth £9 billion deal with Airbus, securing thousands of jobs at the manufacturer's headquarters in Filton.
Lufthansa has placed an order for 55 A350-900 aircraft to expand and modernise its long-haul fleet. A total of 25 of those are firm while 30 are options.
The deal consolidates Lufthansa's status as Airbus’s largest airline customer and operator, with to date 535 aircraft ordered and 397 currently in operation within the group.
John Leahy, Airbus chief operating officer for customers, said the order was an honour.
"We are honoured that such a long-standing and prestigious customer as Lufthansa is coming back for more Airbus aircraft," he said. "The all new A350 XWBs, will integrate very well into the group’s existing Airbus fleet.
"From the A319 to the A380 size category, Lufthansa will benefit from latest technologies and efficiency levels, an unmatched wider cabin, operational flexibility and cost-savings – enhanced by the unique fleet commonality only Airbus offers."
The landmark order comes just six months after the airline decided to become an all-Airbus operator for its single-aisle fleet.
So far in 2013, Airbus has won 125 firm orders from Lufthansa, more in a single year than ever before.
The annoucnment was welcomed at the aerospace firm's Filton plant where wings, landing gear and fuel systems are designed.
More than 4,000 will be safeguarded in the region thanks to the contract.
"The A350 XWB suits Lufthansa’s entire network regarding size and range, and will be key to modernising our fleet while significantly reducing operational costs and our environmental footprint," said Nico Buchholz, executive vice president, Lufthansa Group Fleet Management.
"These quiet and fuel-efficient aircraft will fit nicely into our existing Airbus fleet, and our passengers will be able to enjoy seamless service and comfort levels throughout our entire product range."
The A350 XWB (Xtra Wide-Body) seats between 270 and 350 passengers in typical three-class layouts.
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