Germany has become the first country to receive an Airbus A350 as a governmental jet. The new plane was delivered to the German Air Force on Thursday.
The A350-900, registered as 10+03, will now undergo further test flights through the Air Force’s arm for governmental operations before being ready to enter service towards the end of this year.
German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (AKK) was present during the delivery ceremony in Hamburg. While the plane was built by European aircraft manufacturer Airbus in Toulouse, it received its cabin from Lufthansa Technik at Hamburg Airport (IATA: HAM).
The German Air Force (Luftwaffe) is now both the first ever governmental as well as non-commercial operator of an Airbus A350 aircraft. It has two further planes of the type on order, set to be delivered in 2022.
Three A350-900 are replacing two previously used Airbus A340-300. In late-2018, Germany’s Air Force received criticism after a series of reliability issues with the older A340s. One incident led to German Chancellor Angela Merkel having to take a scheduled Iberia flight via Madrid to Argentina for G20, where she ended up arriving late. The Defence Ministry responded by announcing an uncommonly short-notice order for newly built Airbus A350s in February 2019.
Jakob Wert is an aviation journalist from Germany. He built up the website IFN.news and is the Editor-In-Chief of International Flight Network.