Lufthansa Group studying purchase of additional Airbus A220 aircraft.

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Deutsche Lufthansa AG is considering buying more Airbus A220 jets to boost profitability on regional routes as European air travel recovers from the coronavirus pandemic, according to people familiar with the matter.

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The German airline group is looking to simplify a regional fleet now made up of several different models across its subsidiary brands, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are ongoing, Bloomberg reported.

A shift toward the lightweight A220 could help Lufthansa hold down spending on fuel, maintenance and training as it builds capacity, the people said. The quest for more single-aisle planes marks another sign Lufthansa is on the mend after requiring a 9 billion-euro ($10.4 billion) bailout to survive the pandemic.

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On a conference call, Chief Executive Officer Carsten Spohr said Lufthansa had sent proposal requests to regional jet manufacturers, the first stage in a potential aircraft acquisition.

There’s been no final decision, and it’s possible Lufthansa will go with a different manufacturer. Other models, including from Embraer SA, are among the possible choices, Spohr said on the call.

Lufthansa already operates both the Airbus and Embraer models.

Spohr didn’t say how many planes are being considered. Lufthansa’s Swiss arm was a launch customer for the A220. It operates 21 A220-300s and 9 A220-100s.

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