Lufthansa Scraps Frankfurt Airbus A380 Operations As 50% Of Fleet Retired

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Lufthansa is set to end Airbus A380 operations out of its Frankfurt home. The move, as a result of the current aviation depression, also sees the German flag carrier retiring a seventh Airbus A380.

Lufthansa, Airbus A380, Frankfurt
Lufthansa has revealed that it will end its Airbus A380 operations out of Frankfurt. Photo: Getty Images

Last week we reported that Lufthansa had sent a seventh Airbus A380 to the aircraft graveyard located in Teruel, Spain. It seems as though this aircraft also won’t return to the skies given new information reported by Aero.de. The German language aviation site says that Lufthansa intends to trim half of its Airbus A380 operations, specifically those at its central hub, Frankfurt Airport.

Frankfurt operations scrapped

According to Aero.de, Lufthansa has decided that it will only operate the Airbus A380 from Munich. Late last year, we reported that the airline was planning to shuffle its A380 fleet, so that half was in Frankfurt and the other half in Munich. However, this was long before the current crisis.

Since then, Lufthansa has been set back some 65 years in the space of just 65 days. This has led to the majority of the carrier’s fleet being grounded. After all, there is no point operating empty aircraft, and passengers just don’t want to travel right now.

Lufthansa, Long Haul, Grounded
Lufthansa had already decommissioned six Airbus A380s in April. Photo: Getty Images

A Lufthansa spokesperson told Aero.de:

“After considering various criteria and against the background of making Lufthansa competitive in the long term, the company decided that the A380 will only be used from Munich in the future”

What about the remaining aircraft?

Lufthansa has said that it will only operate the A380 from Munich. However, when will these aircraft fly again? The short answer is probably not for a long time. The German flag carrier is currently anticipating demand to take 2-3 years to return.

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Aero.de reports that the airline sees operating the aircraft from both hubs as inefficient, both from a logistical and economic standpoint. It would be logical to assume that the Airbus A380 will likely be one of the last aircraft reactivated by the German flag carrier given its size and difficulty to fill.

Lufthansa, Airbus A380, Frankfurt
Seven Lufthansa A380s are currently in storage at Teruel. Photo: Getty Images

Indeed, adding to the previous comments, a spokesperson told Aero.de:

“The Munich A380 will remain parked, the option to reactivate it will still be available for Munich”

What’s next?

It is still very early days with regards to the industry’s long recovery process. A process that will likely take many years. However, the green shoots of recovery are beginning to poke up.

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It is possible that more airlines could announce early Airbus A380 retirements before the current crisis is resolved. Indeed, just earlier today we saw Air France reveal that it would retire its entire Airbus A380 fleet effective immediately. The French flag carrier no longer saw a place for the giant of the skies in its operations.

Lufthansa, Airbus A380, Frankfurt
Earlier today, Air France revealed it had retired its remaining A380 aircraft. Photo: Getty Images

As the Airbus A380 is currently undesirable to most airlines, it is unlikely that these retired aircraft will fly again. Perhaps Hi Fly could take one or two. Although even Emirates, by far the largest A380 operator, is reportedly looking to cut five A380 orders still to be fulfilled.

Will you miss seeing the Lufthansa Airbus A380 in Frankfurt? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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