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ILA 2024: Luftwaffe takes ownership of final fully configured A350 VIP aircraft

The third and final fully configured A350 VIP aircraft was formally handed over to the Luftwaffe at the ILA Berlin Air Show on 5 June. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

The Luftwaffe has received into service its third and final fully configured Airbus A350-900 VIP airliner to be used to transport the national head of state and other high-level government dignitaries.

Lufthansa Technik said that aircraft 10+03 ‘Kurt Schumacher', which was initially delivered to the Luftwaffe in an interim interior finish due to the urgent need to field the capability, was formally handed over to the service in a fully configured condition at the ILA Berlin Air Show on 5 June.

“Lufthansa Technik [on 5 June] handed over the third and final Airbus A350 government aircraft to the German Federal Ministry of Defence's (BMVg's) Special Air Mission Wing at a ceremony during [the] ILA Berlin [Air Show],” the company announced. “The largest modernisation programme in the history of the Special Air Mission Wing comprised a total of four cabin modifications for three aircraft. Lufthansa Technik delivered all of them to the German armed forces on time and on budget.”

As the first of three A350-900 aircraft, 10+03 was delivered in its interim condition to the home of the Federal Ministry of Defence Squadron based at Köln-Wahn in October 2020, and was cleared for VIP operations on 4 January 2021. The second, serial number 10+01 ‘Konrad Adenauer', was delivered shortly after in November 2022, with 10+02 ‘Theodor Heuss' following in March 2023. All three aircraft were converted to a VIP configuration by Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg.

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