Hamburg - Lufthansa Technik AG delivered a modified Airbus A321 aircraft to Bundeswehr (German Armed Forces). The airplane will be the official VIP jet for the German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
On the client side, BAAINBw (Federal Office of German Armed Forces Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support) was responsible for the on-schedule and on-budget procurement of the former Lufthansa jetliner named after the city of “Neustadt an der Weinstraße”. The aircraft has been part of the Lufthansa fleet since 2000.
Lufthansa Technik AG was awarded a contract around 90 million Euros (105 million USD) by BAAINBw following a government tender in early 2017.
Besides the conversion, the contract also covers the procurement of spare parts and logistical support from Lufthansa Technik to secure operational readiness of the aircraft for the air force tasks as well as the VIP transportation.
The aircraft has a VIP cabin in front with 14 luxury seats for the most important guests and 70 for other delegation members. The communication tools for secure information exchange have also been installed. Two additional fuel tanks were added under the wings to increase the range of the plane to 2700 nautical miles (5000 kilometers).
A part of the delegation cabin can also be converted into an intensive medical care unit when needed.
The Luftwaffe (German Air Force) is in charge of transporting German government officials. Upon the arrival of the new A321, German Air Force has now nine aircraft in its inventory assigned for VIP flights.
Because of the German government's full flight agenda, Luftwaffe had hard times in the past flying Chancellor Angela Merkel comfortably, who had to fly once with a C-130 military cargo plane from Germany to India at the very last moment.