5 A380s To Leave Frankfurt As Lufthansa Outlines Storage Plans

Earlier today, one of Lufthansa’s Airbus A380s departed Frankfurt Airport for long term storage. Following the departure, Lufthansa has outlined their Airbus A380 storage plan to Simple Flying. The program will see five of the seven A380s that had been at Frankfurt Airport sent to storage over the coming months.

Lufthansa, Airbus A380, Long Term Storage
Lufthansa is sending five more of its Airbus A380s to long-term storage. Photo: Getty Images

The A380 is sadly an aircraft behind its time. Even before the pandemic, some airlines were phasing out the aircraft, such as Air France and Singapore Airlines. Its problem is that it is hard to fill, and its four engines are hungry for fuel. However, the pandemic has amplified these issues.

Lufthansa’s Airbus A380 storage plan

This morning D-AIMC departed from Frankfurt Airport (FRA) bound for storage in Tarbes (LDE). According to Lufthansa, the flight was one of five that are planned. A Lufthansa spokesperson told Simple Flying,

“From today, Lufthansa will start the transfer of five of its Airbus A380s from Frankfurt to Teruel/Spain or Lourdes-Tarbes/France”

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The spokesperson pointed out that the move was to do with the cost of storing the aircraft for such a long period of time. While Lufthansa’s own A380 mechanics can take care of the aircraft in Frankfurt, the space that they’re occupying comes at a cost. This is significantly more than in Teruel and Tarbes that are designed explicitly with aircraft storage in mind, unlike a major international airport.

Lufthansa, Airbus A380, Retirement
Earlier today, Lufthansa flew this Airbus A380 to Tarbes in the south of France. Photo: Vincenzo Pace – JFKJets.com

One departure a month

According to Lufthansa, the process of ferrying their Airbus A380s to Teruel and Tarbes will be a long one. The airline told Simple Flying that “The five A380s will be relocated between January and May 2021, starting today to Tarbes with the registration D-AIMC.”

They then went on to add that “The other four aircraft are scheduled to be transferred one by one, each month one aircraft.” The next aircraft will be D-AIMI to Tarbes, with the three remaining aircraft flying to Teruel. Six A380s currently remain at Frankfurt,

  • D-AIMD
  • D-AIME
  • D-AIMH
  • D-AIMI
  • D-AIML
  • D-AIMM

This means that two will remain at Frankfurt, possibly for if Lufthansa suddenly needs to transport many passengers at once. CEO Carsten Spohr previously said that the A380 would only return if aviation’s recovery is far better than currently expected, which seems increasingly unlikely.

Teruel, Aircraft Graveyard, Photos
Lufthansa had already sent half of its Airbus A380 fleet to Teruel. Photo: Getty Images

Lufthansa isn’t the only Lufthansa Group airline currently sending aircraft to storage. Yesterday Austrian Airlines flew one of its Boeing 777s, registered as OE-LPD, to Teruel in Spain. The airline plans to store the aircraft there for 12 months but does have plans to reactivate it. The airline commented, “We are looking forward to reactivating our “Spirit of Austria” after its hibernation!”

Do you think the Lufthansa Airbus A380s will ever return from storage? Let us know what you think and why!