Luxembourg’s national carrier Luxair plans to acquire two Boeing 737-700s in 2019 to expand its route structure and build additional resilience to its network.

The aircraft will be bought from an unnamed “large European flag carrier,” a Luxair spokesman told ATW Aug. 2.

The airline said in late 2017 that it was looking at a fleet renewal plan. It also said last year it was seeking to replace its 737-700s with a new regional jet, with the choice between the Bombardier CS100 (now Airbus A220-100) or the Embraer E190 E2.

However, the spokesman said the purchase of used 737-700s was going ahead as the airline required additional short-term capacity. “They are used aircraft because we need new aircraft immediately to strengthen our markets and routes, so ordering new aircraft was not an option” given the lengthy lead times at virtually all major manufacturers.

Once the two 737-700s arrive in March and May 2019, Luxair will have six -700s and two  -800s, as well as 11 Q400s.

Luxair said in a statement the two new aircraft would build in extra resilience to help it cope with bad weather or industrial action, which had seen its aircraft being blocked from performing services in recent times.

“As any European airline, Luxair is experiencing ever-increasing operational disruptions that are beyond the airline’s control, but which affect passenger comfort [such as air traffic control and/or ground handling strikes, increasing congestion of European air space and airports and unpredictable weather phenomena].

“The significant investment in two additional aircraft will allow LuxairGroup to stabilize its network and mitigate the negative effect of disruptions, especially with regard to the runway refurbishment planned in the coming years, thus maintaining high standards of service, quality and punctuality,” Luxair said.

Alan Dron