While it is looking increasingly likely that Lufthansa’s Airbus A340-600 aircraft won’t return to the skies, the same cannot be said for the -300 fleet. IAC has just finished painting one of the airline’s Airbus A340-300s in Dublin, a good sign for the fleet.
The past year has been a turbulent time for the Lufthansa long-haul fleet. Many of the aircraft found themselves grounded at the start of summer. However, some have since returned. Unfortunately, others haven’t been so lucky. Indeed, it looks as though many may never return to Germany from their respective storage locations.
Repainting an Airbus A340
Many airlines have stored or retired the four-engine giants as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Just take a look at the global Boeing 747 fleet. Even looking at the Airbus A340, airlines such as Virgin Atlantic and Air Belgium have retired all or some of the fleet.
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Aircraft paint company IAC has just finished repainting one of Lufthansa’s Airbus A340–300 aircraft in Dublin. While it may seem like a nonevent, the fact that Lufthansa has repainted the aircraft shows its commitment to the type.
— IAC (@IAC_Ltd) February 15, 2021
Repainting an aircraft costs money, and at the end of the day, the airline usually has to pay. Some airlines avoid repainting the aircraft unless necessary. This is the reason why only new Ryanair aircraft will be delivered in its subsidiaries’ paint schemes.
It is simply not cost-effective for the low-cost carrier to repaint its fleet just for a new look. While Lufthansa is not a low-cost carrier, it will still save all the money it can given the ongoing pandemic. As a result, it would make no sense for the airline to splash out on a new paint scheme for an aircraft it didn’t know would hang around.
What about the -600?
Unfortunately, things don’t look rosy for the -600, known for its under-deck toilets. Towards the start of the crisis, Lufthansa flew the majority of the fleet to Teruel in Spain. At the time, the airline said that the fleet wouldn’t return for at least a year to a year and a half.
In the past year, the position appears to have changed slightly. Instead of removing aircraft from storage, the airline is sending even more planes to the Spanish aircraft nursery. In a recent talk given by Lufthansa’s CEO, Carsten Spohr, he said,
“We took four-engine aircraft out, we grounded the whole A380 fleet. We took the A340-600 out and we don’t plan to bring them back into the air. So there’s a significant fleet modernization happening by the fact that we’re now a smaller airline and, therefore, can just by the pure nature of the math behind it, modernize our fleet faster.”
What do you think of Lufthansa’s decision to repaint its Airbus A34-300 aircraft? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!