Lufthansa (LH, Frankfurt Int'l) will reduce its planned investment in fleet renewal by half through 2023, taking delivery of a maximum of 80 aircraft for the entire group as it seeks to repay public loans as quickly as possible.

The new measure comes on top of a previously announced reduction of the group's current fleet size by around 100 units. Lufthansa did not provide a guideline about the planned net fleet size changes in the coming years.

According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, Lufthansa has sixty-one A320-200neo, thirty-five A321-200neo, and twenty-seven A350-900s on firm order from Airbus. Orders for twenty B777-9s and twenty B787-9s are assigned to Lufthansa Group, while Lufthansa Cargo (LH, Frankfurt Int'l) has two B777-200Fs on firm order. Subsidiary Swiss (LX, Zurich) has firm orders for one A220-300, sixteen A320neo, and eight A321neo.

The German airline said that while the recently approved EUR9 billion euro (USD10.1 billion) bailout has secured the group's financing for the time being, "sustainable cost reductions" were necessary in the long-term.

"The complete repayment of government loans and investments, including interest payments, will place an additional burden on the company in the coming years... Government loans and equity participations are to be reduced as quickly as possible to avoid a further increase in interest charges," Lufthansa said.

The airline's restructuring programme, dubbed "ReNew", is scheduled to continue through the end of 2023 and will entail, besides the deferral of aircraft deliveries, a reduction in the size of the group's executive boards, management positions, and other administrative jobs.

Lufthansa said it would "accelerate" the transformation of the parent airline into a holding company with a separate corporate identity.

Meanwhile, the European Commission has greenlighted state aid to Austrian Airlines (OS, Vienna), which was contingent on Lufthansa's shareholders approving the massive bailout for the German parent. The Austrian subsidiary is set to receive EUR600 million (USD676 million), including a EUR150 million subordinated loan, convertible into a grant, from the government. Lufthansa is due to inject another EUR150 million - which could come from the German's airline own bailout - while the remaining EUR300 million will be provided by Austrian banks as a state-backed loan.

However, a larger CHF1.5 billion Swiss franc (USD1.6 billion) bailout to Swiss is still in mired in red tape as the government is still trying to figure out how it relates to Lufthansa's approved bailout. In particular, it is currently unclear if this bailout could come on top of the EUR9 billion package for Lufthansa or if should it be included in the overall sum, Swiss travel website aboutTravel.ch reported.