Earlier this year, Lufthansa sent six of its Boeing 747 aircraft to Twente Airport in the Netherlands for storage. However, it seems as though the aircraft now won’t be able to leave the airport due to widebody departure restrictions.
Around the world, thousands of aircraft have been grounded due to the worst crisis ever to hit the aviation industry. Many of these aircraft will never take to the skies with passengers again. One example would be British Airways’ Boeing 747 aircraft, now all going to the scrap heap or becoming museum pieces.
Stuck in The Netherlands
According to Aviation24, six grounded aircraft are stuck in the Netherlands. These six aircraft are all Lufthansa Boeing 747-400 planes. Lufthansa flew these aircraft out to the airport for storage earlier this year. However, it seems that the aircraft are legally unable to leave the airport.
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Dutch language publication Tubantia initially reported that the airport had hoped to dismantle the aircraft. However, Lufthansa has decided against this. The report said that aircraft must depart from the facility. However, they are unable to do so. A spokesperson for the Dutch aviation authority, ILT, told the publication that the airport doesn’t have the correct safety certificate to allow such large aircraft departures.
However, Tubantia subsequently reported that AELS, the dismantling company, has not been connected with these planes as of yet. The report clarifies that Lufthansa flew the aircraft to Twente to park.
The airport is currently in discussions with the aviation authority regarding the future of the aircraft. However, the airport is preparing to take legal action to ensure that the aircraft can depart should the aviation authority’s discussions fail.
A Lufthansa spokesperson declined to comment on the matter when approached by Simple Flying. Simple Flying has contacted Twente Airport for comment.
Not the only Lufthansa aircraft sent to storage
These six stranded Boeing 747 aircraft are not the only ones sent to storage since the current situation began. Indeed, Lufthansa has been storing many aircraft at airports other than its own. These have mostly been four-engined aircraft.
A large number of stored aircraft are currently at Teruel, a Spanish aircraft graveyard. The airline has sent its entire Airbus A340-600 fleet to the facility for long term storage. Some of these aircraft definitely won’t return. However, Lufthansa is yet to decide if any will return at all.
The German flag carrier has also sent over half of its Airbus A380 fleet to Teruel. Seven of the eight aircraft have been retired early. The eighth aircraft in Spain, alongside six being stored at the airline’s facilities in Frankfurt, are unlikely to fly passengers for the German flag carrier again.
It previously said they would only return to service if passenger numbers recover much faster than expected. As a second-hand A380 market is non-existent, the retired aircraft will likely be scrapped.
Do you think the Boeing 747s should be allowed to depart from Twente? Let us know what you think and why in the comments.