Lufthansa’s last Airbus A380 is set to depart Frankfurt Airport tomorrow morning. The flight will see D-AIMH sent to desert storage in Teruel, Spain. It could well be the last Lufthansa Airbus A380 flight as the airline’s CEO Carsten Spohr has made it clear the aircraft doesn’t fit in the Lufthansa plan.
There was recently some positive Airbus A380 news out of Teruel as the first jet left the storage facility since the onset of the pandemic. Despite this, the facility will quickly be repopulated, albeit with a giant aircraft in a slightly different blue and yellow livery.
Final A380 departure imminent
Lufthansa’s last Airbus A380, D-AIMH, is set to depart Frankfurt Airport tomorrow, bound for desert storage in Spain. The aircraft is currently due to leave the Lufthansa stronghold at 09:00. However, as always with scheduling, this is subject to changes.
The jet will join the majority of the airline’s A380 fleet being stored in Teruel. A handful are being kept up the road at Teruel’s sister site in Tarbes, France. The German flag carrier had maintained the aircraft at Frankfurt on the off chance that it would need such a large aircraft, but with the slow return of the Boeing 747-400, it seems the giant of the skies is no longer needed.
According to data from ch-aviation.com, D-AIMH has the serial number 70. It first flew on December 9th, 2010, and arrived with the German flag carrier on July 5th, 2011. With the airline, the jet has racked up 38,587 flight hours across 3,930 flight cycles. With a current market value of $42.49 million, the plane last flew one and a half years ago.
Stay informed: Sign up for our daily and weekly aviation news digests.
The last Lufthansa A380 flight?
While it’s not possible to say for sure, it seems as though this flight could well be the last Airbus A380 flight to be operated by the German flag carrier. The airline’s CEO, Carsten Spohr, has previously commented,
“The A380 will obviously not come back.”
Teruel and Tarbes, the two locations storing the airline’s Airbus A380s, are both operated by Tarmac Aerosave. Tarmac Aerosave has scrapped the majority of A380s to meet such a fate so far. The exception is the first Airbus A380 retired by Air France which was dismantled in Knock, Ireland.
Last week, for the first time since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, an Airbus A380 was removed from Teruel. G-XLEA, British Airways’ oldest Airbus A380, was removed from the facility ahead of upcoming maintenance. While this shows the commitment of some to the giant of the skies, unfortunately, it doesn’t indicate the start of a trend.
With the departure of G-XLEA, the A380 population in Teruel has dropped from 22 jets to 21. This will return to 22 tomorrow with the arrival of D-AIMH. As such, Teruel will soon have 12 of Lufthansa’s A380s, with two more in Tarbes. They are joined by two British Airways A380s, two Air France A380s, and six Etihad jets.
While British Airways is looking to bring the A380 back, Air France has firmly retired the jet. Etihad seems to be open to the possibility of the giant’s return. While the airline isn’t planning on flying the jet again as things stand, Etihad’s CEO recently told Simple Flying that you should “never say never”.
How many Airbus A380s do you think will leave Teruel? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!