Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) has confirmed that the Airbus A380 will return to operation in the summer of 2023, a reprieve for its superjumbos, which had been sent into deep storage.
The German flag carrier said it was currently deciding how many A380s to reactivate and which destinations they will fly to.
“In the summer of 2023, we not only expect to have a much more reliable air transport system worldwide. We will be welcoming you back on board our Airbus A380s, too,” said the airline’s Executive Board Members in a press statement released by Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA).
The airline said that its decision to bring back the A380 to its long-haul operations is a response to the steep rise in customer demand and the delayed delivery of ordered aircraft.
First flights from summer 2023: Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) reactivates @Airbus A380 due to the steep rise in customer demand. How many A380s will take off again and which destinations will be served is still to be decided. #WeAreLufthansa https://t.co/Rg73MmtJZY pic.twitter.com/xZKqJs8qhV— Lufthansa News (@lufthansaNews) June 27, 2022
“We decided today to put the A380, which continues to enjoy great popularity, back into service at Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) in summer 2023,” the board members said in the statement. “In addition to this, we are further strengthening and modernizing our fleets with some 50 new Airbus A350, Boeing 787 and Boeing 777-9 long-haul aircraft and more than 60 new Airbus A320/321s in the next three years alone”.
When the pandemic hit, it seemed as though the end was nigh for the A380, with many operators moving to put them into long-term storage. However, Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) is now joining others, such as Qantas and Singapore Airlines (SIA1) (SINGY), in saving some of the aircraft from their desert fate.
Having previously declared that the A380 would not come back, Lufthansa’s (LHAB) (LHA) CEO Carsten Spohr was cited by various journalists as saying during a briefing at the IATA AGM on June 20, 2022 that he had to soften his stance on ruling out the A380.
AeroTelegraph quoted Spohr, who said that Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) would have to consider bringing back it A380 fleet to service or find an alternative solution, due to delivery problems with the Boeing 777X.
Spohr added that the airline would need to make a decision by July 2022, due to the nine-month period required to reactivate its A380s.
Lufthansa’s (LHAB) (LHA) 14 Airbus A380 aircraft are currently parked in Spain and France for long-term storage (“deep storage”) according to the airline. Six of these aircraft have already been sold and eight A380s remain part of the Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) fleet for the time being, said the airline.
According to Spohr’s comments at the IATA AGM, Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) has only 14 pilots who are still current on the A380, however A350 pilots are also able to get type ratings on the superjumbo.