They’re used on eight routes, including one-offs.
Lufthansa has 21 A350-900s. At just 4.3 years, they were the youngest type in its fleet until the first (and for now only) B787-9 arrived. Four of the 21 A350s are ex-Philippine Airlines, resulting from the Asian airline’s bankruptcy and consequent rationalization. Their availability enabled Lufthansa to – in the airline’s own words – “make the most of exceptional market opportunities.”
Lufthansa’s A350s: a summary
A fundamental part of Lufthansa’s long-term planning, the first of its A350-900s (registered D-AIXA) arrived nearly six years ago in December 2016. Since then, 20 more have been delivered, including four this year – all ex-Philippine Airlines and each leased. According to ch-aviation.com, they are as follows:
- D-AIVA: delivered to Philippine Airlines in July 2018, with Lufthansa in April 2022
- D-AIVB: with Philippine Airlines in September 2018, with Lufthansa in April 2022
- D-AIVC: with Philippine Airlines in October 2018, with Lufthansa in March 2022
- D-AIVD: with Philippine Airlines in February 2019, with Lufthansa in May 2022
The four aircraft are based at Lufthansa’s Munich hub rather than Frankfurt, and the first revenue-generating flight was on April 29th to Toronto. Flightradar.com shows that D-AVIC was deployed, substituting non-ex-Philippine A350-900s.
Stay aware: Sign up for my weekly new routes newsletter.
How do they compare?
It isn’t surprising that Lufthansa’s ‘own’ A350s have virtually the same capacity (293 seats) as the ex-Philippine examples (295). However, they differ enormously regarding the number of seats per cabin.
The ex-Philippine equipment is decidedly less premium, with 18 fewer business seats and 17 more economy; this dictates the routes on which they’re deployed. Funnily enough, despite a much smaller business cabin, the seats on the ex-Philippine aircraft – Vantage XL with direct aisle access – are superior. Here’s how the two aircraft compare:
|Lufthansa’s A350-900s||First||Business||Premium economy||Economy|
|Non-ex-Philippine||0||48 (2-2-2)||21 (2-3-2)||224 (3-3-3)|
|Ex-Philippine||0||30 (1-2-1)||24 (2-4-2)||241 (3-3-3)|
This is not an ex-Philippine A350 and therefore has a 293-seat layout. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.
It’s easy to identify the routes on which the aircraft are used because of their different capacity. Cirium shows that, as of September 29th, the 295-seaters will be deployed on eight routes this winter, from October 30th to March 25th. They include three one-offs and a very time-limited service:
Lufthansa’s 295-seater A350-900 routes in winter 2022. Image: GCMap.
Notice Toronto and Vancouver. Each airport has a 295-seater flight bookable to Germany on March 25th, the last day of winter 2022. The first 295-seater to Canada is the 26th, the first day of summer 2023. It’ll then continue to operate throughout the peak season.
As the ex-Philippine equipment is not bookable or scheduled to Canada on the 25th (or before), it’s unclear how they’ll get there and remains subject to change.
Have you flown its 295-seaters? If so, share your experiences in the comments.