Today Lufthansa said goodbye to one more Airbus A380 for the foreseeable future. D-AIMI was ferried to Tarbes in France, where it will enter into long-term storage. It is unclear whether the A380 will ever come back into service with the German flag carrier after the airline’s CEO previously cast doubt on the type.
While a marvel of engineering, the A380 hasn’t gone down as the cool kid with many airlines, given the general shift away from four-engined giants in the industry. Of course, it’s not all bad news. While Emirates remains committed to the type for the next decade and a half, Singapore Airlines is actively refurbishing its fleet.
D-AIMI flies the nest
Today was a sad day for Lufthansa, and A380 fans as the German flag carrier dispatched another of its A380s to long-term storage in Tarbes, located in the South-West of France.
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According to data from RadarBox.com, the 9-year-old plane departed from Frankfurt Airport at 07:42 this morning. Following a one-hour, 25-minute flight as LH9920, the aircraft touched down at its new home at 09:08. This was the aircraft’s first flight since operating a repatriation mission from Bangkok 11 months ago on March 20th. Before its grounding, D-AIMI operated around 300 flight hours a month to destinations such as Singapore, Los Angeles, Bangkok, and Delhi.
When Lufthansa began relocating its remaining A380s away from Frankfurt one month ago, an airline spokesperson told Simple Flying,
“Lufthansa will start the transfer of five of its Airbus A380s from Frankfurt to Teruel/Spain or Lourdes-Tarbes/France in order to save overall parking and storage costs, as we currently have higher fees in Frankfurt than those in Teruel or Lourdes.
“The five A380s will be relocated between January and May 2021, starting today to Tarbes with the registration D-AIMC. The other four aircraft are scheduled to be transferred one by one, each month one aircraft.”
Five A380s left at Frankfurt
Following this morning’s flight, there are now five Airbus A380s remaining at Frankfurt Airport. Three of these will now head to Teruel to create a total of ten Lufthansa A380s at the Spanish storage facility. The airline will retain two Airbus A380s in Frankfurt. This will give Lufthansa the ability to move a large number of people at once if necessary, for example, if another repatriation effort is needed.
Barring this, it seems unlikely that Lufthansa will resume flights with the A380. Lufthansa has previously said that the A380 will only return if demand recovers much faster than anticipated. However, Germany’s second lockdown has eaten into travel demand, with Berlin Airport closing down its Soviet-era Terminal 5, previously named Schönefeld.
How do you feel about another Airbus A380 leaving the capital of German aviation? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!