Less than a week after Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA)’s chief executive Carsten Spohr admitted that the airline group was contemplating the future of its Airbus A380, the German flag carrier made up their mind and announced its decision. Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) will retire the last remaining superjumbos, although it is not rushing to scrap them for parts just yet.
Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) no longer plans to use the Airbus A380 aircraft that still remains in its fleet for passenger service, the carrier revealed in a statement on September 21, 2020. The 8 aircraft would be transferred to a long-term storage mode and taken out of planning. The carrier already retired six Airbus airliners of the same type in the spring of 2020.
However, contrary to the previously retired A380s, the remaining aircraft would not be scrapped just yet. The airline intends to keep the planes in long term storage to be able to reactivate the fleet in case the aviation market recovers unexpectedly and rapidly, according to the statement.
Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) has similar plans for its other quadjet aircraft, the Airbus A340-600, too. Ten A340s, previously intended for flight service, would now be transferred to long-term storage. In addition, seven remaining A340-600s would be permanently decommissioned.
Looking further into the future, Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) plans to implement a group-wide cuts of 150 aircraft from the middle of the decade. The wet-lease aircraft would be affected first, the company indicated.
Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) revised its fleet plans due to lower than anticipated passenger demand. The airline group no longer expects to achieve 50% of its previous passenger load levels by the end of the year. Stating that the goal no longer appeared realistic, the company revised capacity outlook downwards to 20% to 30% range in comparison to 2019, as outlined in the statement.
On September 11, 2020, the chief executive of the group Carsten Spohr hinted that Airbus quadjets’ operations might be coming to an end. Spohr revealed that the company was in the process of deciding whether to phase out all of its remaining superjumbos, also hinting about similar decisions regarding the A340s.
With the Airbus A380 and A340 gone, the only four-engine aircraft remaining in Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA)’s fleet would be the Boeing 747-8. The first airliners of the latest 747 version joined the carrier’s fleet in 2012. The airline now owns 19 Boeing 747-8s, of which 8 are in service, based on planespotters.net data.