Amid plunging demand due to the coronavirus outbreak, Lufthansa is taking some major steps with its A380 fleet. After previously considering grounding its entire A380 fleet, Lufthansa is now preparing to ground the type through May.
Lufthansa to ground the A380 through May
According to aero.de, Lufthansa is taking the A380 out of service through May per an internal circular. This comes as the airline has seen a slump in bookings. Shockingly, however, Lufthansa has only notched a 35% occupancy rate on the A380s recently.
At this time, Lufthansa has denied the rumor to Simple Flying, but with plummeting demand, it is looking more likely by the day. In addition, Lufthansa is also working on a plan for its crew and parking the Airbus A380s on top of other aircraft across the Lufthansa Group that are effectively grounded. Thus, it would make sense for Lufthansa to not publicly announce the details until the entire plan for this grounding has been confirmed.
Lufthansa’s Airbus A380s
Currently, Lufthansa has a total of 14 Airbus A380s. Each one seats a total of 509 passengers across four cabin classes. There are eight first class seats on the A380s. There are located in the forward portion of the upper deck.
Behind first class are 78 business class seats in a 2-2-2 configuration.
In the forward section of the lower deck, there are 52 premium economy seats. And then, the rest of the lower deck and very rear of the upper deck have a combined total of 371 economy class seats.
In terms of passenger capacity, the A380 is the largest aircraft in Lufthansa’s fleet. And, with four engines, the aircraft requires a fair bit of fuel to fly. With only 35% occupancy, Lufthansa would not be turning over amazing profits on this flight. However, for passengers, a 35% full A380 would feel incredibly spacious.
Around the world, airlines are cutting flights and capacity as global demand for travel plummets. It is unclear exactly how Lufthansa’s flight schedules will be impacted with the A380s out of service. However, Lufthansa will likely temporarily suspend some low-performing routes or else reduce capacity.
Amid a slump in demand, it makes sense for Lufthansa to ground the A380s through May (or longer) in order to reduce losses. While Lufthansa has not yet confirmed this, it would make sense for the airline to wait to organize final details before definitively announcing plans to ground the A380s. And, if load factors are to be believed, then it is all the more reason for Lufthansa to ground this type.
Should Lufthansa institute an A380 grounding amid the coronavirus outbreak? Let us know in the comments!