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Edelweiss Gets A350s to Replace Aging A340 Fleet
Just a week after Swiss announced new products on its A350s, its subsidiary – Edelweiss – announced that it will acquire six A350-900s, set to be delivered though 2025 to replace its fleet of A340-300s.
In May this year, Lufthansa Group secured four second-hand A350-900s that once flew for LATAM. Lufthansa did not reveal which airline those aircraft will go to in the group but now it appears they will be going to leisure carrier Edelweiss. Edelweiss will keep the configuration and products LATAM had with 30 business class seats and 309 in economy, citing supply chain issues as a reason to not reconfigure the aircraft.
The first four Airbus A350-900s carry the MSNs: 35, 45, 79, 363. The remaining two aircrafts were originally ordered by LATAM and will be operated by another carrier before transferring to Edelweiss. Their MSNs are not yet known as the two airframes were scheduled to be delivered in 2026.
The Edelweiss A350s is a part of the renewal process Lufthansa Group is progressing through to improve its products and achieve greater efficiency with newer generation aircraft. Quad-jets such as the A340-300s are notoriously inefficient compared to the newer generation of long haul twin jets and Lufthansa Group has placed numerous orders to replace one of the world’s largest quad-jet fleet consisting of A340-300s, A340-600s, Boeing 747-400s, 747-8s and A380-800s.
Edelweiss’s parent company Swiss, is also set to introduce five A350-900s to its fleet to replace A340-300s. The move for Edelweiss to also acquire A350s allows standardization between the two airlines and enables operation flexibility. Historically, Edelweiss long-haul fleet has always operated the same aircraft type as Swiss and used the same products, albeit with different configurations.
As of June 2023, the Lufthansa Group has ordered a total of 50 A350-900s and ten A350-1000s, with 17 delivered. The group also acquired four Philippines Airlines A350-900s in 2021 and will acquire four ex-LATAM A350-900s for Edelweiss. The total number of A350s in Lufthansa’s group is expected to reach at least 68. The group also has sizable orders for 787s and 777Xs to replace other aging jets in the fleet, including 787-9s to replace Austrian’s aging 767s and 777s.
The new A350s are expected to take over the destinations that Edelweiss A340s currently serve. They are mostly leisure destinations in the Americas and across the globe. Edelweiss also flies to the Canadian cities of Calgary and Vancouver, as well as Denver in the U.S., connecting passengers to Swiss’ network in Zurich. Edelweiss A340s also operate Swiss-marketed flights from Zurich to Montreal despite Swiss having its own fleet of four A340-300s, which are also set to be replaced by A350-900s.
Edelweiss also recently announced new services for summer 2024, including new routes to Bogota and Cartagena. The service to Vancouver will become daily and frequencies on services to Calgary, Denver, Las Vegas and Tampa will be increased. It was announced together with the network expansions by Swiss and Lufthansa starting summer of 2024. The new services and aircraft are a result of Lufthansa’s strong financial performance coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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