Lufthansa has flown its last of 16 Airbus A340-600 aircraft to Teruel, a Spanish aircraft graveyard. The airline has flown its fleet of A340-600s to the facility for long-term storage. However, some of the planes won’t return to the skies at all.
Last flight to Teruel
Lufthansa has been sending a small fleet of 23 widebody aircraft down to Teruel from both the Airbus A340 and Airbus A380 families. The airline’s last flight to Teruel for aircraft storage took place earlier today.
Lufthansa’s last Airbus A340-600 due to fly to Teruel departed from Munich at 08:43 this morning. Following a 1-hour 48-minute flight, the aircraft, registered as D-AIHU, landed at the Spanish aircraft graveyard at 10:31. The plane flew through Germany, Switzerland, France, and Spain during its final journey for the foreseeable future.
Lufthansa will become a smaller airline as a result of the current crisis. The airline has already announced a handful of aircraft retirements. However, across the group, it intends to reduce its fleet by around 100 aircraft. As far as Lufthansa’s long-haul fleet is concerned, the airline will be retiring aircraft from three different families.
When will the Airbus A340-600 fly again?
Back in April, we learned that Lufthansa would be sending its entire fleet of Airbus A340-600 aircraft to Teruel. It said that this process would take two to three months. However, all bar one have now arrived. D-AIHB is still in Manila, where Lufthansa Technik has a maintenance base.
Of the 17 aircraft in the Airbus A340-600 fleet, at least seven won’t fly for Lufthansa again. Lufthansa has confirmed that the plane won’t fly for at least the next year. Lufthansa has also sent half of its 14 strong Airbus A380 fleet to Teruel for decommissioning.
However, there are still questions surrounding whether the Airbus A340 fleet will return at all. In April the airline commented:
“A decision on the future use of the aircraft or a possible reactivation of a maximum of ten aircraft will be taken at a later stage in time.”
— Aeropuerto de Teruel, vuela la innovación (@aeropuerteruel) May 26, 2020
Interestingly, Simple Flying recently learned that the airline intends to split its remaining aircraft across its two hubs. Frankfurt will be home to the Boeing 747 and the new Boeing 777X. Meanwhile, Munich will get the Airbus A350 and Airbus A380.
Interestingly, the airline made no mention of the return of the Airbus A340-600. The first Boeing 777Xs aren’t due to be delivered until next summer. The airline has included them in this figure, but not the Airbus A340, which will also be grounded for at least a year.
Last week a Lufthansa spokesperson confirmed the following to Simple Flying:
“They are going into deep storage”
Will Lufthansa fly its Airbus A340-600s once more? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!