Carsten Spohr, Chairman of the Board and CEO of the Lufthansa Group, Airbus President and CEO Fabrice Brégier and the President of Pratt & Whitney Robert Leduc invited 700 guests and media representatives to the official delivery at Hamburg-Finkenwerder.
Following the ceremonial handover, the first two new-type airplanes were presented to the public. The first A320neo, with the registration D-AINA, has already flown scheduled service since January. The second “neo” is expected to complement the Lufthansa Airbus fleet soon. The first experiences with the A320neo clearly show that the 15 percent lower fuel consumption mark has not only been achieved but even slightly exceeded. The significantly quieter engines also increase customer comfort on-board and provide relief to residents near airports by reducing noise emissions.
The development and introduction of the quietest and most fuel-efficient aircraft on short and medium distances is further evidence of the successful cooperation in the aviation industry at European level. “Europe has been a leader in this fascinating industry since the early days of aviation,” says Carsten Spohr. “Lufthansa and Airbus have developed a trusting and productive 40-year partnership. Together we have pushed ahead and brought to market many innovations and contributed to the success of the European aerospace industry. With new and efficient aircraft, such as the A320neo and the A350 XWB, we set new standards for our passengers, while reducing the impact on the environment and, not least of all, on the people living near airports.”
“On behalf of everyone at Airbus, I congratulate Lufthansa on being the A320neo launch customer. Together, we’re opening a new chapter in commercial aviation and I am confident that the A320neo will support Lufthansa objective to raise its environmental performance. The A320neo not only cuts emissions at every operational stage but also halves its noise footprint compared to previous generation aircraft,” said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO.
“At Airbus we are have been proud to support Lufthansa’s growth over the past four decades with our partnership now spanning almost the entire Airbus family, from the A320 right up to the A380.”
"Pratt & Whitney is proud to build on its long and deep history with Lufthansa and Airbus by together marking a new era in commercial aviation with the delivery of the A320neo equipped with ultra-high bypass ratio Geared Turbofan engines," Pratt & Whitney President Robert Leduc, said. “We applaud Lufthansa for being the first to enjoy the many benefits this aircraft and engine technology affords in terms of fuel efficiency and in reducing noise and emissions.”
This afternoon, the A320neo will take off from the Airbus facilities in Hamburg-Finkenwerder as a special flight with flight number LH9917 with guests and media representatives on board and fly with a short stop in Hamburg’s City Airport Fuhlsbüttel towards Frankfurt. The A320neo was fitted with a special logo. “First to fly A320neo - Less noise. Less fuel. Less CO2“ adorns the rear fuselage of the Lufthansa aircraft.
Another cause for celebration is the 40-year partnership between Lufthansa and Airbus. On 9 February 1976, Lufthansa received the first Airbus A300 at Hamburg-Finkenwerder. The airlines within the Lufthansa Group have ordered a total of 582 Airbus aircraft in the past 40 years. Lufthansa is the largest Airbus customer with currently 392 aircraft from the European manufacturer, including 284 aircraft from the A320 family and 14 A380.
The Lufthansa Group has ordered a total of 116 A320neos and A321neos, to be delivered in the next years. 60 aircraft will be delivered with the new PW1100G-JM engine from Pratt & Whitney. A special intermediary 3:1 gear conversion system ensures optimum speed of the 2.06 meter-cross-section fans and the turbine inside the engine. The new engines and improved aerodynamics allow a significant noise and emission reduction.
With the new engine technology, the 85-decibel noise footprint of a new A320neo is only about half the size as a comparable aircraft of the existing fleet. In addition, the A320neo is at least 15 percent more fuel efficient than the previous A320 version. Calculated per-seat, this efficiency advantage increases to as much as around 20 percent, because the A320neo, through improved use of space in the cabin, allows more space in the business class compartment and two more rows with twelve additional seats on board.
Just in time for the adoption of the first A320neo, Lufthansa Technik is also ready for maintenance of the new airplane type and its systems. In the preparatory phase, Lufthansa Technik has laid out all technical, operational and personnel foundations for complete technical support of the A320neo. In the first step, employees at the Frankfurt mechanics hub were trained in Hamburg and Munich and equipped with the necessary resources. The training subsidiary of Lufthansa Technik has been certified by the Federal Aviation Authority. Currently, Lufthansa Technik has about one third of the world’s A320 fleet under exclusive component supply contracts.