The flag carrier of Germany Lufthansa continues reactivation activities of its Airbus A380 wide-body aircraft fleet. Recently, fans of the Airbus A380 super jumbojet spotted another double-decker leaving long-term storage in Spain, where it has spent almost two years on the ground.
The third reactivated Lufthansa’s A380s, the more than 9-year-old A380 jet, registered D-AIML made its first flight on April 21, 2023. According to flight history found on Flightradar24.com, the aircraft left Teruel Airport (TEV) on flight LH9922 to Frankfurt (FRA) at 12 p.m. (UTC). The plane was sent for long-term storage to Teruel desert, one of the largest aircraft storage airports in Europe, in May 2021, at the onset of the global pandemic.
Lufthansa has already reactivated two A380s, the first of which returned to Munich Airport (MUC) on April 12, 2023, after a three-year hiatus. The carrier decided to bring the wide bodies back in response to the high passenger demand for air travel during the ongoing summer season of 2023. Severe delays in new aircraft delivery come as the second reason behind such a move.
Even though before the pandemic Lufthansa used to operate 14 A380s, the Planespotters.net data indicates that now the German airline has only nine double-deckers left in the fleet. Following the air carrier’s plan, by the end of the year, Lufthansa will operate four planes of the type out of one of its two main home bases at Munich Airport (MUC). And at least two super jumbos are expected to return to active passenger service by the end of 2024.
The airline has already launched ticket sales for long-haul flights on two initial routes between Germany and US, which the reactivated wide-body planes will operate. As per the initial plan, Lufthansa will launch flights on the MUC-BOS route on June 1, 2023. Meanwhile, flights to JFK airport are supposed to start on July 4, 2023.
Even though at least six A380s will re-join the airline’s fleet shortly, Lufthansa does not see the type in its long-term fleet. Instead of double-deckers, the carrier considers operating other wide-body airliners, such as Airbus A350-1000s, A350-900s, and A330-300s, as well as Boeing 747-8s, 777-300s, 777X-9s, 787-9s, and 777Fs.