“Plane” Truth From Lufthansa


Not to put too fine a point on it, but Lufthansa spends a lot of money on aircraft — something in the neighbourhood of $50 billion on the 300 planes it currently has on order, including Bombardier’s new C-Series planes.

None of this should come as a surprise, when you listen to Nico Buchholz, executive vice-president – fleet management for Lufthansa, who’ll explain that an “aircraft is a means to something,” before continuing that “it is the tool to deliver our service to our customers.”

Buchholz was in Toronto this week — following a stop in Montreal for a meeting with Bombardier officials — as part of the first Lufthansa Academy to be held in Canada. The Academy events have been held regularly in New York, providing travel trade and aviation types there with an inside look at a variety of things taking place at Lufthansa and it seems that the timing was right to launch similar events in Canada.

The Toronto session offered insights into such key topics as:

  • Long-term fleet strategy as a key for capacity and investment planning.
  • How Lufthansa continuously optimizes its fleet.
  • Securing homogenous aircraft specifications.
  • How to coordinate investment decisions for the entire airline group.
  • What parameters drive aircraft purchasing decisions.

As Buchholz noted in his presentation, fleet management influences the operational life cycle cost through dedicated involvement in the whole aircraft life cycle, observing that “you need a plane that will respond to the needs of the airline for 20 years or longer.”

Watch for more on the recent Lufthansa Academy in Toronto in an upcoming edition of Canadian Travel Press.

Seen in the photo, from l to r, are Lufthansa’s director Canada, Hans DeHaan and the carrier’s executive vice-president – fleet management, Nico Buchholz.