Handover of final A350 government aircraft to the German Air Force

Lufthansa Technik recently handed over the third and final Airbus A350 government aircraft to the German Federal Ministry of Defense’s (BMVg) Special Air Mission Wing at a festive ceremony during ILA Berlin. Secretary of State for Defense Nils Hilmer officially put the aircraft with the registration 10+03 into service this afternoon. This already marked the second premiere for “Schumacher,” as the largest modernization program 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, the company said.

“The largest modernization program in the history of the Special Air Mission Wing can justifiably be called a Herculean task. Four cabin refurbishments for a total of three wide-body jets over a period of just four years, and some of them were still heavily influenced by the pandemic,” explained Soeren Stark, CEO of Lufthansa Technik AG. “I am all the more proud of our team, which mastered this task with flying colors, and completely within the estimated cost and time frame. I take my hat off to this achievement and thank everyone who was involved.” 

The initial handover of 10+03 took place just a few months after the political decision was made to replace the German Air Force’s two long-serving Airbus A340s with three brand-new A350s for long-haul political and parliamentary air transport. As the first aircraft was needed in service very quickly, Lufthansa Technik initially only equipped 10+03 with an interim cabin and handed it over to the then Minister of Defense in August 2020. The first A350 deliveries with a full government cabin followed in November 2022 and in March 2023 with 10+01 “Konrad Adenauer” and 10+02 “Theodor Heuss”. 10+03 “Kurt Schumacher” then also returned to Lufthansa Technik’s Hamburg VIP Completion Center, where its cabin interior was completed until recently.

As an “earlycomer” in the program, 10+03 still wore the old color scheme of the so-called “white fleet” until recently, with a serif font on the fuselage and only narrow black-red-gold accents on the wingtips. Just in time for today’s delivery, the livery was also carefully adapted to the more modern look of the two sister aircraft, including new lettering in the “Bundes Sans” font and wingtips that are now extensively painted in the colors of the German flag.