Lufthansa Technik has formally handed over the second Airbus A350-900 government aircraft to the German Armed Forces. The aircraft, bearing the tactical registration 10+01, will soon join the fleet of the Federal Ministry of Defence (BMVg) Special Air Mission Wing for long-haul political-parliamentary flight operations. It is equipped for the first time with a full government cabin. Siemtje Moeller (SPD), parliamentary state secretary at the German Ministry of Defence, ceremoniously christened the aircraft in the name of former Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer in the presence of his grandson, who shares his name.
The Airbus A350 arrived factory-fresh at Lufthansa Technik's facility at the end of March 2021 and has since undergone an extensive modification programme at the company's competence centre for special aircraft services in Hamburg, Germany. The main focus was on the fitting of the full government cabin, which differs significantly from the transitional cabin of the 10+03 Kurt Schumacher, the world's first VIP and government aircraft based on an Airbus A350, which was already delivered in 2020.
In contrast to the latter's open cabin design, the various functional areas for political-parliamentary flight operations are now structurally separated from one another, as was already the case with its two predecessors based on the Airbus A340. The remaining space in the cabin is available for the delegations travelling with the aircraft. It features seating with generous spacing, an appropriate number of washrooms and modern galley equipment.
Clearly visible to the public is the discreetly revised livery of the 10+01, which also differs in detail from its sister aircraft 10+03. It includes new lettering in the Bundes Sans font as well as wingtips whose outside is now fully painted in black, red and gold, the German national colours.
"Ceremonial handovers of new aircraft to the German Armed Forces have already become a fine tradition for us in recent years. Nevertheless, today is again something special," says Lufthansa Technik CEO Soeren Stark. "The aircraft christened today is not the first Airbus A350 handed over by us to the German Armed Forces, yet it bears all the insignia of a new flagship with the registration number 10+01 and a name steeped in history; Konrad Adenauer. This great honour is also reflected in the new government cabin we installed, which sets new standards with modern technology and high functionality, as well as cost efficiency."
Following the formal handover, the 10+01 will be transferred to Cologne for entry into service with the German Air Force. The third Airbus A350 with the registration 10+02 and the name Theodor Heuss is also at Lufthansa Technik's Hamburg base in an advanced stage of full cabin modification. The 10+03, which is already in service, will also soon return to Lufthansa Technik to be converted from the transitional to the full government cabin.