German flag carrier Lufthansa has almost 200 Airbus A320 family aircraft in its fleet. However, many of these are not flying due to the current situation. Where do you store such a giant fleet? Simple Flying did the work to find out so that you don’t have to!
How many of Lufthansa’s A320 family are still flying?
Using data from the magnificent FlightRadar24.com, we compiled a list of every A320 family aircraft in the main Lufthansa airline fleet. This excludes other airlines in the Lufthansa group such as SWISS and Austrian.
In total according to FR24’s data, Lufthansa operates 194 aircraft from the Airbus A320 family. This consists of:
- 29x Airbus A319;
- 72x Airbus A320;
- 23x Airbus A320neo;
- 63x Airbus A321;
- 5x Airbus A321neo.
Of these 194 aircraft, almost 90% are grounded. For the purpose of this article, we defined an aircraft as grounded if its last flight was on the 29th of March or earlier. Future flights were not taken into account, as these are subject to change.
The data was quite staggering. It showed that only 20 of Lufthansa’s A320 family aircraft are still flying. The majority of these aircraft were the Airbus A320neo. Some types, such as the A321neo were completely grounded.
How quickly have the aircraft been grounded?
The situation in Europe has been evolving rapidly over the past month. Initially, only Lufthansa’s long-haul aircraft were affected by the global aviation slowdown. However, this soon spread to Europe, with Italy becoming a hotspot shortly after.
Initially, this wasn’t the end of the world for Lufthansa, as Northern Italy is one of many destinations served within Europe by the German flag carrier. However, as the virus began to spread around the continent, travel bans sprung up, and demand took a deep dive.
Simple Flying took a look at which date each of Lufthansa’s A320 family aircraft took its last flight. Initially, aircraft were grounded fairly steadily. Then, from the 15th of March, the German flag carrier began to ground more and more aircraft. This meat that as of the 22nd of March, only 38 of the airline’s aircraft were left flying.
The data then shows a plateau for most of the last week. However, from the 26th of March, the airline began to store aircraft with more haste once more. Of course, the airline would have a very hard time storing all of its aircraft in once place. In fact, this is a problem seen across the board for airlines.
Where are the aircraft being stored?
Last week we took a deep dive into where Lufthansa was storing its long-haul aircraft. This data showed that around one-quarter of the airline’s long-haul fleet remained operational. However, these aircraft weren’t stored in interesting and exotic locations.
In fact, the majority were in storage at either Frankfurt or Munich Airports. These are both big hubs for Lufthansa. The story gets much more interesting for the airline’s A320 family fleet!
Of course, a large majority of the aircraft are parked up at both Frankfurt and Munich. However, in total, the grounded aircraft are split up across 17 different airports. While a large number of these are in Germany, some are spread out further in Europe.
Outside of Germany, the majority of aircraft seem to be scattered fairly thinly. For example, Bratislava, Katowice, and Teruel each have one aircraft. Meanwhile, Vilnius and Luqa (which houses a Lufthansa Technik base) each have two. Sofia has five stored A320 family aircraft.
Shannon in Ireland has nine A320 aircraft currently stored. This consists of five Airbus A320s four Airbus A321s. Some further aircraft were stored at Shannon earlier this month, however, they have now been relocated to airfields in Germany.
Storage in Germany
173 of Lufthansa’s Airbus A320 family aircraft remain stored in Germany. Munich has the highest concentration of aircraft at 58, with Frankfurt coming a close second at 45 stored aircraft. Interestingly, 32 aircraft are stored at Berlin’s new Brandenburg Airport.
Berlin Brandenburg Airport is set to finally open in the latter half of this year. However, until then, the airport remains a large empty space ready to accept aircraft. Lufthansa has taken advantage of this and is using the yet-to-open airport to store aircraft. As the airport is adjacent to the existing Berlin Schönefeld Airport, aircraft are being flown here and then taxied across.
The remaining 38 aircraft are being stored across Germany at varying airports. 12 aircraft are resting their wings two hours north of Frankfurt at Cologne. This airport is a hub for the Lufthansa Group’s airline Eurowings.
Stuttgart has seven A320 family aircraft, while Dusseldorf and Hamburg both have five aircraft each. Nordholz, a joint military and civilian airport on the north coast of Germany has four of the aircraft. Meanwhile, Hannover has three. Last but not least, Leipzig airport has two aircraft, both Airbus A320s.
How long these aircraft will remain grounded is, unfortunately, anybody’s guess right now. Hopefully, the situation will start to improve soon. In fact, positive steps towards recovery are already being seen in China. Until then, the majority of Lufthansa’s short-haul aircraft will likely remain on the ground, unlike Ryanair’s Boeing 737s.
Have you seen any Lufthansa aircraft parked? When did you last fly with the German flag carrier? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.