Germany-based Deutsche Lufthansa has received an approval from its supervisory board to purchase up to 61 aircraft for its low-cost airline subsidiary Eurowings.

A €1bn investment has also been approved for the purchase and leasing of the aircraft, which will include 41 Airbus A320 family and 20 Dash 8 Q400 aeroplanes.

The acquisition, however, is partially dependent upon Lufthansa’s successful bid to acquire parts of Air Berlin Group, which filed for insolvency last month.

The newly approved investment is set to be financed from existing liquid funds.

“For Eurowings, it will be a major challenge to cope with the rapid growth."

In the last few months, Lufthansa has taken 20 aircraft being flown by Eurowings as part of the current wet lease agreement with Air Berlin, as well as 15 aircraft through acquisition and five others leased with an option to purchase.

Deutsche Lufthansa executive board chairman Carsten Spohr said: "We now have the great opportunity to take a decisive step forward with Eurowings in Europe. The supervisory board and the executive board agree that we are determined to seize this opportunity.

“With the approval of an additional investment framework for the acquisition of aircraft, the necessary preconditions have now been met.

“For Eurowings, it will be a major challenge to cope with the rapid growth. I am particularly pleased that this will enable us to offer up to 3,000 new employees a secure perspective in the Eurowings Group.”

Following necessary approval by relevant antitrust authorities, Eurowings can increase its fleet up to 81 aircraft.

The airline is estimated to require up to 3,000 new employees for performing cockpit and cabin operations.

Image: A Eurowings aircraft. Photo: courtesy of Lufthansa Group.