Lufthansa has today outlined its third set of restructuring methods to cope with the impact of COVID-19 on the aviation industry. As a result, the airline is highly unlikely to resume services with the Airbus A380.
The current pandemic has sent shockwaves around the aviation industry, with the Lufthansa Airbus A380 being one of the first casualties. In the Spring, Simple Flying learned that six of the airline’s 14 Superjumbo aircraft would be permanently decommissioned. However, we were waiting to hear the fate of the remaining aircraft this week. Today there is a development to the story, as the German flag carrier revealed that it is unlikely the remaining eight Airbus A380s will return to service.
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Detailing its third round of restructuring measures, the German airline said:
In addition to the fleet changes already communicated, the following decisions have been made: After six Airbus A380s were finally taken out of service in the spring, the remaining eight A380s and ten A340-600s, which were previously intended for flight service, will be transferred to long-term storage and removed from planning. These aircraft will only be reactivated in the event of an unexpectedly rapid market recovery.
The current A380 situation
Currently, half of the Lufthansa Airbus A380 fleet remains in storage in Germany. The other half has been sent to Teruel, a Spanish aircraft graveyard also housing some British Airways Boeing 747s and Air France Airbus A380s.
We knew that six of these seven aircraft would never fly for Lufthansa again. What the airframes’ exact fates are is currently unknown. However, there was little demand for the Giant of the Skies before the crisis, let alone now. These aircraft could well be scrapped, but it is unclear what Lufthansa will do with the seven A380s currently in Germany. They will likely be flown elsewhere, as it will be costly to occupy space at Germany’s biggest airports.
Not just fleet cuts
It wasn’t just fleet cuts that were announced by Lufthansa today. The airline further revised its expected passenger count for the coming periods. The airline no longer feels that it will reach 50% of its previous production level by the end of the year. Instead, it is now expecting this figure to sit at 20-30%.
As such, as we saw, fewer aircraft than expected will be needed, but also, if fewer aircraft are operating fewer flights, then fewer employees will be required to support these operations. The airline previously said that it had a surplus of 22,000 full-time workers. However, while not giving any firm figures, Lufthansa did say that this number will increase.
One figure that the company did give is that management positions will be reduced by 20%. This will accompany a 30% reduction in Lufthansa’s worldwide office space.
What do you make of Lufthansa’s news? Sad or bound to happen? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!