Which Aircraft Has The Lufthansa Group Retired Due To COVID?

Since the start of the current crisis affecting the aviation industry, the Lufthansa Group has been very transparent about the current state of its fleet. Today the group released a complete summary of all of the aircraft retired as a result of the crisis. The outline came in the group’s delayed Q1 results.

Lufthansa, Grounded Aircraft, Frankfurt
The Lufthansa Group is retiring several aircraft, but which are getting the chop? Photo: Oliver Roesler – Lufthansa

Lufthansa’s retirements

As the leading airline in the Lufthansa Group, it makes sense to start by looking at the aircraft that Lufthansa has retired. Yesterday we reported that the German flag carrier is to begin sending the first of five permanently retired Boeing 747s to The Netherlands.

While the airline has sent seven Airbus A380s to Teruel, a Spanish aircraft graveyard, it maintains that only six have been retired at this point. These six aircraft had already been sold back to Airbus and were due to be transferred to the manufacturer in 2022 and 2023.

Teruel, Aircraft Graveyard, Photos
Lufthansa has sent many Airbus aircraft to Teruel. Photo: Getty Images

Interestingly, the carrier previously announced that seven of its Airbus A340-600s had been retired. Indeed, 16 out of 17 aircraft have been sent to Teruel. However, in its Q1 report, the group did not refer to retired A340-600s. Instead, it said that the 17 aircraft were to be grounded for at least 12-18 months.

In terms of its short-haul fleet, Lufthansa has cut 11 Airbus A320 aircraft from the fleet. As such, capacity at both Frankfurt and Munich will be down.

Austrian Airlines retirements

Austrian Airlines is also retiring some aircraft from its fleet. Indeed, the airline will be saying goodbye to three of its six Boeing 767 aircraft. These three aircraft are some of the oldest in the Lufthansa Group fleet.

Austrian Airlines, Boeing 767, Retirement
Austrian Airlines will retire half of its Boeing 767 fleet. Photo: Austrian Airlines

On a short-haul basis, the airline will say an early goodbye to 13 Bombardier Dash8-400 aircraft. The group says that all 16 of these aircraft have already been retired.

SWISS retirements

Retirements have been alluded to at both Brussels Airlines and SWISS. However, the Lufthansa Group is yet to advise precisely which aircraft will be the subject of such retirements.

Concerning SWISS, the group is looking to postpone the delivery of new short and medium-haul aircraft to keep the fleet size down. Earlier this year, the airline took delivery of its first A320neo.

Airbus A320neo, SWISS, First Neo
SWISS already received its 1st new Airbus A320neo aircraft. Photo: Airbus

However, SWISS is also reviewing the early retirement of some of its older aircraft. According to Planespotters, three fleets look like apparent candidates for retirement given their age:

  • 6x Airbus A321-100s with an average age of 23.4 years;
  • 19x Airbus A320-200s with an average age of 19.7 years;
  • 10x Airbus A340s with an average age of 16.6 years.

Brussels Airlines retriements

Again, Brussels Airlines is yet to reveal precisely which aircraft have been retired. However, unlike SWISS, we do know that 30% of the fleet will be cut. Most of the Brussels Airlines fleet has an average age of around 15 years old.

However, two aircraft stand out as obvious candidates for retirement. Both OO-SFT and OO-SFZ. These Airbus A330 planes have ages of 20.9 years and 21.5 years, respectively, making them prime choices for retirement. The airline also has some older Airbus A319 aircraft, which could be cut.

Brussels Airlines, Fleet Cuts, Staff Cuts
Brussels Airlines has announced plans to cut both its fleet and the number of staff. Photo: Brussels Airlines

Eurowings

Eurowings so far seems to have been the least affected by fleet cuts. Indeed, the Lufthansa Group financial report simply states:

“Eurowings will also further reduce the number of its aircraft.”

Again, the airline’s oldest aircraft are Airbus A319 aircraft. These could potentially be cut from the fleet.

Which aircraft leaving the Lufthansa Group fleet will you miss most? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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