Lufthansa’s Airbus A350s will be operated by pilots who also fly its A330s and A340-600s.
The German airline received its first A350-900 in December and will start regular passenger flights with the twinjet on 10 February. These will be operated from Lufthansa’s secondary base in Munich.
At an inauguration event in the city on 2 February, Martin Hoell – chief pilot for Lufthansa’s Munich-based long-haul fleet – told FlightGlobal that A330/A340-600 pilots needed to undergo familiarisation training as there were differences in the A350’s cockpit. But, he notes, the A330 and A350 have a common type rating.
Lufthansa has ordered a total of 25 A350s and decided to station the first 10 in Munich. The airline is scheduled to have seven A350s by year-end. They are replacing A340-600s.
Munich-based long-haul pilots fly both the A330 and A340-600 as the two types have largely identical cockpits. Lufthansa’s Munich-stationed intercontinental fleet comprises all of its 18 active A340-600s – another six have been stored – and seven A330-300s.
Lufthansa also has 18 A340-300s, some of which are being operated by the airline’s regional CityLine arm. But Hoell says Lufthansa decided not to include that fleet in the A350’s type rating because the A340-300s are stationed in Frankfurt.