Lufthansa Technik handed over the first of three new Airbus A350-900s to to the German Federal Government’s Special Air Mission Wing. This is the world’s first government aircraft of this type and therefore also the world’s first Airbus A350 not to be used in commercial airline service.
Several test flights with the government’s new wide-body aircraft will take place in the upcoming weeks for the final operational readiness of the aircraft and the military certification.
The brand new aircraft, which was still on the civil register as D-AGAF, arrived at Lufthansa Technik in early May. The airliner is equipped with a distinct interim cabin for political and governmental flight operations.
The cabin has office and conference areas, connected with a multifunctional lounge area. The remaining space is available for delegations flying on the aircraft. After two other A350 aircraft, which are currently under construction, are equipped with a government cabin from Lufthansa Technik next year, the transitional cabin of the government’s first A350will also be changed.
The unprecedented impacts of the novel coronavirus pandemic on the supply chain delayed the planned delivery of the A350 to the German Armed Forces. The delivery will take place in the upcoming weeks after the aircraft receives its military certification and crew training and various test flights are completed.
Airbus A350 to Replace German Government’s Aging A340
During a delivery ceremony in Hamburg, a major city in northern Germany home to a large number of Airbus sites, Germany’s Minister of Defence Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer glanced over the future flagship of the Federal Ministry of Defence’s Special Air Mission Wing.
“The exemplary procurement process is really something to be proud of. The decision to purchase the new A350 fleet was made just 1.5 years ago. My thanks therefore go to all those involved in industry and German Armed Forces, because everyone really pulled together here,” said Minister Kramp-Karrenbauer.
“With its 25 percent lower fuel consumption – compared to older, comparable types – the ultra-modern A350 is future-oriented, and with the new fleet we are securing global mobility as an important part of the Federal Government’s ability to work”, the Federal Minister continued. “And with the addition of two more brand-new A350s, the mobility expected of an industrial nation like Germany is adequately ensured.”
“Today we are proud to present to the Federal Minister of Defence the new flagship of the Federal Government’s Special Air Mission Wing, the world’s very first Airbus A350 as a government aircraft,” said Dr. Johannes Bussmann, Chairman of the Executive Board of Lufthansa Technik AG. “The 10+03 and its two subsequent sister aircraft are a continuation of the successful tradition of supplying the German Armed Forces and having them as one of our best and most important customers.”