Lufthansa Won’t Fly A380s Again Until At Least 2022, If At All

Filed Under: Lufthansa

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

Bottom line

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.

Comments
  1. Add to this the strong pressure to suppress short domestic flights…

    Coming up next…FCT closing…..indefinitely….

  2. all so negativ. Here in Germany we see at them moment that Lufthansa has calculated fully false. they have to less domestic flights so there are no tickets to buy anymore a few days ahead. I think the same you will se in international travel. In a few weeks no one in Europe will wear masks and accepts that the flu like (yes there are no more death cases as by a strong flu) is over . And the airlines are much to pessimistic. It will be funny to see how they want to get more capacity next year when we already reach the passenger numbers of 2019. I bet they will have to reactivate most of these a380 in 2021 latest.

    Hey guys stay more optimistic. The average dead by covid-19 is 81 years old. Average!!! so normal you call that dieing because of age an if not from covid that from any other sickness.

    so lets have fun and fly again. live is too short to avoid risks every day.

  3. Huge costs to keep them current and able to fly..
    I think they will get flown to desert storage areas…

  4. @CF Frost

    For a passenger jet the honor will probably go to the MD-11, but they do have a second life as freighters.

    No such luck for the A380.

    But considering the size of EK’s fleet it will be a long good while jet before the last flight. BA’s A380 fleet will probably stick around for a good long while also due to LHR slots, or lack there of.

  5. A380 is a failed experiment.
    Amazing engineering accomplishment, but very little practical use at least for now.

  6. @Jan – I agree fully, same happens in Poland and Sweden. Business as usual, no one cares about covid. And that’s great.

  7. Are we talking about Covid19 or the 380! The 380’s are mostly going to ground much more rapidly with airlines that have the fewest slower with EK. While I truly enjoyed flying on that big thing it’s time. It did make those really long haul flights much more doable with the bar in the back and the shower, which was great because my wife never used so I got her 5 minutes !!!

  8. One extra info: by the end of 2022 the management will also decide whether to update their First Class product or to giving it up. They already showed to mock-ups of a possible FCL to HONs and their feedback was a catastrophe.

  9. Edited version: One extra info: by the end of 2022 the management will also decide whether to update their First Class product or to stop offering FCL. They already showed two mock-ups of a possible FCL update to HONs and their feedback was a catastrophe, so bad that they paused the project in January.

  10. With so many airlines mothballing or retiring their A380s, I guess Emirates will be set with spare parts, for a while at least. I’m really interested that Lufthansa hasn’t announced the same for their 747 fleet–with the A380 fading into obscurity, I do wonder if the 747-8 will be the last plane standing for these high-yield, high-capacity, premium routes.

  11. I highly doubt the coveted First Class Terminal will ever reopen. At most there will be one First Class Lounge at Frankfurt and one at Munich with limited service. The open bowls of nuts and Haribo will have to go for sure!

    All in all LH is copying the North American airlines. Less service, less prestige, no real “first class” with 200$ champagne and caviar. No lounge with 100 different whiskys. But prices high as ever. It seems to have worked for Delta, AA and UA. why not for LH?

  12. AGB

    The a380 has to be at least 80% full to be more economic than the 747 400 series (yes the 1980s 747 is the 747 it is always compared to in the statistics to show it is more efficient). The 747-8 is more economical than the a380.
    I don’t have the article to hand but read a detailed and well researched piece about it.
    And I love travelling long haul in the a380, but in economic terms it is far less profitable and efficient than the latest 747 especially if at a 80 or below percentage capacity filled long haul flight.

  13. It’s very said the economy is panicking and we are seeing the death or a great achievement that is the A380. Only those who flew on it will understand how comfortable, silent and spacious it feels. The lounge / bar on the back of J class ( with 12 seats in a sofa row in case of Qatar )was probably the best thing ever happened to aviation.

  14. As long as they keep the 747 with first class in the nose and the FC Terminal in Frankfurt with the Porsche driving you to the plane, the caviar and all, I couldnt care less about the A380. We got Emirates with the shower & bar and that isnt going anywhere anytime soon. 😉

  15. I hated the 380! I fly economy (but I fly alot) and it takes FOREVER to get ON and FOREVER to get OFF!!! To go thru Customs takes FOREVER…..you get the point! The smaller the plane the BETTER in my book! Sorry! If they could get a DC9 to fly the pond, I’d grab a seat!
    Plus the A-380 has no self adjustable Boeing air vents if the guy next to you hasn’t kept his shoes and socks on while he travels (not his custom?) lol.
    JP Amarillo Tx.

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