If you were hoping to fly Lufthansa’s A380 anytime soon, there’s very bad news — the planes won’t be flying for at least a couple of years, if at all.
Lufthansa may not fly A380s again
Like many other airlines, Lufthansa stored its A380 fleet when the pandemic started, given the reduction in demand. Not only that, but given the company’s pessimistic view of a recovery, the airline has already decided to retire quite a few planes.
Among these, Lufthansa has decided to retire half of its Airbus A380 fleet, meaning that seven A380s will never fly again.
What happens to the other seven A380s? Well, Lufthansa doesn’t plan on bringing the remaining seven A380s back into service until at least 2022. Furthermore, if/when they’re brought back, it would only be in the Munich hub, as the Frankfurt hub won’t see A380s again.
According to Executive Traveler, Klaus Froese, who runs Lufthansa’s Frankfurt hub, said the following:
“In Frankfurt, the chance that we will again operate any A380 is close to zero. That’s all but decided. In Munich we will have to see. Planning is very difficult in these times.”
At this point it’s clearly not even a sure bet that the A380 will make a comeback at all. It all depends on how demand recovers in major markets like Hong Kong, Los Angeles, New York, etc.
Lufthansa Airbus A380
Why is Lufthansa choosing Munich over Frankfurt?
Back in the day Lufthansa exclusively based A380s at Frankfurt Airport, which is the carrier’s biggest hub. However, in 2018 the airline began operating A380 flights from Munich as well.
Part of the motivation for this was that the airline was in a dispute with Frankfurt Airport, so the aircraft move was partly to “punish” the airport, as Lufthansa was using plane bases as leverage.
However, the Munich A380 hub seems to have worked out well for the airline, to the point that Lufthansa is only even considering bringing the plane back to service there.
Lufthansa A380 first class
We knew that Lufthansa A380s would be grounded for a while, though it sounds like they won’t fly until 2022 at the earliest, so expect them to be grounded for a couple of years.
Lufthansa is retiring seven A380s, and then there’s a big question about whether the remaining seven will ever fly again. If they do, they’ll be based out of Munich.
This is another sad development for the A380, joining the recent news that Air France is retiring its entire A380 fleet effective immediately, and that Qantas won’t fly its A380 fleet for at least a few years.