Lufthansa Celebrates 5 Years Of Airbus A320neo Operations

Lufthansa today celebrates five years of Airbus A320neo operation. As the type’s launch customer, the German flag carrier was the first airline to begin flying the type. Since the type’s launch, Airbus has delivered 1,147 A320neo aircraft as of the end of 2020.

Lufthansa, Airbus A320neo, 5 Years
Lufthansa today celebrates five years of A320neo operations. Photo: Oliver Rösler via Lufthansa

The Airbus A320neo is the second iteration of the manufacturer’s main single-aisle product. The aircraft has been a success by all accounts, with almost as many neo family aircraft having been sold as the classic engine option. While Lufthansa has retired its first ceo aircraft, the new neos still have many years ahead of them!

Fifth anniversary

It was exactly five years ago today that Lufthansa operated its first passenger flight with the then-new A320neo. According to Andreas Spaeth, writing for Airways Magazine, the first flight was relatively low-key. It saw the aircraft, D-AINA, operating LH100 from the airline’s Frankfurt home to its secondary hub, Munich.

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Despite entering service with Lufthansa in January 2016, the aircraft’s ceremonial handover from Airbus to Lufthansa actually took place on February 12th. Interestingly, the handover itself occurred just days after the 40th anniversary of Airbus’ first delivery to Lufthansa. This saw an Airbus A300 being delivered to the airline from its Hamburg-Finkenwerder site on February 9th, 1976.

Lufthansa, Airbus A320neo, 5 Years
The ceremonial handover of the first aircraft occurred after its first commercial flight. Photo: Airbus

Many orders outstanding

Despite operating the A320neo for five years now, The Lufthansa Group has only taken delivery of a fraction of its neo aircraft orders. As of December 31st, The Lufthansa Group had 84 A320neo orders. With 29 delivered so far, the airline group has an outstanding order for 55 more aircraft.

However, the airline is also expecting 40 A321neos, of which six have so far been delivered. This leave’s the airline group’s outstanding A320neo family commitment at 89 aircraft of a total order of 124. It’s unclear exactly what time frame the orders will be delivered in, as the German flag carrier has slowed its delivery rate due to the current situation. After all, with so many aircraft grounded, what is the point in taking more?

Better for the environment

The neo family is better for the environment than the older classic engine option family. This is increasingly important in a day and age where sustainability guides everything the industry does.

Lufthansa, Airbus A320neo, 5 Years
Lufthansa was the launch customer for the Airbus A320neo family. Photo: Gregor Schlaeger via Lufthansa

When the first aircraft was delivered, Airbus commented that its planned 15% lower fuel consumption had been exceeded by the neo. As mentioned on the side of some of the airline’s early neos, the aircraft use less fuel and emit less CO2. However, there is one more benefit, which will be appreciated by airport neighbors.

The neo family generates fewer noise emissions, meaning that they are much more community-friendly than their predecessors. Recently, Lufthansa began selling parts from the first A320 aircraft that it had retired.

Have you flown on a Lufthansa Airbus A320neo yet? How did you find the experience? Let us know what you think and why in the comments.