Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr has confirmed in recent days that he has requested proposals from Airbus and Embraer regarding a future acquisition of A220 and E2 jets, according to Bloomberg.
The German airline does not operate aircraft of the category, but its subsidiaries do. Swiss, for example, was the airline that launched the A220-100 when it was still called CS100. It currently has a fleet of 30 jets of the model, 21 of which are from the higher-capacity version, the A220-300.
But the same Swiss uses the rival E190-E2 and E195-E2 in a partnership with Helvetic Airways. In addition, Lufthansa Cityline has 11 first-generation E-Jets, Italy’s Air Dolomiti has 15 E195s and Austrian Airlines has another 17 jets of the same model.
Therefore, the German group knows the two airframers well, but intends to simplify the fleets in the future in order to reduce costs and optimize the operation.
Lufthansa’s potential order promises to make a big difference for both the European giant and the Brazilian company. Although the A220 and E2 overlap in some respects, the Airbus jet is larger and more efficient on routes with high demand and distance.
The A220-100 version, however, comes closest to the E190-E2 and E195-E2, but has so far attracted few orders.
At Embraer, the E195-E2, like the A220-300, is currently preferred by customers. Since the Lufthansa group has 34 E195-E1, its successor would be a natural choice.
However, Airbus’ bargaining power is a decisive factor as it can propose more attractive packages involving other models such as the A320neo family. According to Bloomberg sources, the airline would be inclined to order the A220.
There is still no forecast for a possible announcement, which makes expectations grow even more. The first time Lufthansa admitted to studying a new order for regional jets was earlier this year.