Reuters has an interesting story on the Air Berlin A330 fleet. It mentions an apparent interest in a dozen of the 17. Take a look at the airline’s A330 fleet data and at the bottom of the chart, you can see the Lufthansa A330-220 fleet. As we can see Air Berlin has 17 A330-200s and three A330-300s. The -300s are rather on the older side (>20 years). So being overlooked makes sense.
But of the 17 Air Berlin A330-200s, 12 are leased from AerCap. It is clear AerCap is the most exposed to the airline and is most pressurized to move these back into revenue generation. The AerCap aircraft average 12.4 years old. These are relatively young aircraft. By comparison the Lufthansa A330-200 fleet averages about 18 years.
Crucially all the A330-200s listed have the same engine – the PW4168A. So Lufthansa could indeed do a deal that makes sense. It’s Technik facility could ensure the A330s are at optimal performance and get the same cabins. The A330 might offer service up to 25 years. Lufthansa could be acquiring aircraft only halfway through their service lives, get them at a bargain, and use existing resources to bring into service. Sounds like a viable plan.