Lufthansa indicates the Airbus A380 has no long-term future at the airline

Santi Rodriguez /

While Lufthansa plans to return up to six Airbus A380 aircraft by 2024, its fleet plans do not include the double-decker in the long-term future. 

Going forward, the airline’s “New Normal” fleet will include the Airbus A350-1000 and -900, A330-300, and the Boeing 747-8, 777-300, 777X-9, and 787-9, as well as the 777F to operate cargo-only flights. The number of cockpit types will be reduced by at least six in the short-term future, with some of the older and less efficient aircraft in the process of being phased out. It will eliminate the Airbus A380, A340-600, A340-300, and A330-200s, as well as Boeing 747-400, 777-200, and 767-300 aircraft. 

“An improved product for an airline consists first and foremost of advanced aircraft and modern cabin interior,” noted Carsten Spohr, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Lufthansa Group, during the company’s 2022 earnings call. “That is why we are systematically continuing the modernization of our aircraft fleet,” Spohr continued, stating that in 2023, the airline group will add 35 jets to its various airlines. 

To replace its aging widebody aircraft fleet, the group ordered 22 additional long-haul aircraft: 10 Airbus A350-1000, five A350-900, and seven Boeing 787-9s. In total, the German airline group has 87 widebody aircraft on order, with 44 additional options (20 for the 787, 24 for the 777X). Delivery of the jets is scheduled to begin in 2023, with the first 777X delivery to commence in 2025. 

By 2030, the carrier group will add 200 new aircraft to its fleet with “more than half of them, long-range airplanes,” Spohr highlighted.  

“The Group expects significant cost savings from these measures, especially in the areas of crew training, maintenance and operations,” the company noted in its 2022 full-year report. 

Lufthansa also introduced 14 new cabin interior products for its long-haul operations, called the Allegris. 

Overall, six Airbus A380s are set to return to Lufthansa’s fleet in the next few years. According to the German airline’s financial report, six Super Jumbos will return to Airbus by November 2023 out of the total 14 A380s it owned prior to the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. As of the end of 2022, 10 aircraft of the type were decommissioned. 

Nevertheless, Lufthansa has been returning A380s to service starting in December 2022. By the peak season in 2023, the Frankfurt Airport (FRA)-based airline will operate four aircraft of the type from Munich Airport (MUC). Two additional Airbus A380s will return to service in 2024. 

The German airline group, which includes but is not limited to Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Lufthansa, and Swiss International Air Lines, posted a profit of €791 million ($839.4 million) on €33 billion ($35 billion) of revenue. In total, it carried 102 million passengers throughout the year. 

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