Lufthansa (LH, Frankfurt International) lacks small narrowbody capacity and will "definitely have to buy" aircraft in that segment, Lufthansa Group Chief Executive Carsten Spohr told staff during a meeting.

As reported by Aviation Week, Spohr admitted that the German carrier had more competition than in the past on some of its key feeder routes as low-cost carriers and other airlines have expanded their short- and long-haul networks. As a result, Lufthansa now needs to look for new markets to feed its hubs which requires a larger fleet of small narrowbody aircraft.

Spohr did not provide any further details concerning potential types, the number of aircraft, a timeline for the order and deliveries, and whether Lufthansa would operate them itself or place them with another group AOC.

The ch-aviation fleets advanced module shows that the German flag carrier's narrowbody fleet currently comprises twenty-three A319-100s (which are 20.2 years old on average), fifty-seven A320-200s, thirty A320-200Ns, twenty A321-100s, forty-three A321-200s, and fifteen A321-200NX. The smallest type Lufthansa has on order is the A320neo. The carrier's regional capacity providers Air Dolomiti and Lufthansa CityLine operate a fleet of CRJ900s, E190s, and E195s, leaving a gap in the circa 150-seat segment. While the group does not have any Embraer E2s on order, subsidiary Swiss is a prolific A220 operator with nine A220-100s and twenty-one A220-300s. It also wet-leases both E190-E2s and E195-E2s under a long-term deal with Helvetic Airways (2L, Zurich).