Lufthansa had originally planned to send six of it’s A380s back to Airbus in 2022 as part payment for their orders of more A350s, but with the recent outbreak of COVID-19 and the effect it has had on the airline industry, Lufthansa has decided to permanently decommission these aircraft well ahead of schedule. The decommissioning of these 6 A380s will reduce their fleet of A380s to 8. Lufthansa will also be decommissioning 7 A340-600s, 5 747-400s and 11 A320s.
This string of decommissioning is the first part of an overall plan to reduce the capacity of the airline. They are expecting to see a sharp drop in traveller numbers when the current crisis is abated, expecting that it will take many years for global demand to return to pre-pandemic levels.
The removal of their A340s and 747s is said to be due to environmental and economic disadvantages that they face versus other more modern aircraft.
With the steps that Lufthansa have had to take to protect their long term viability as a carrier, it is reasonable to presume that we will see other carriers undertake similar measures I’m the weeks and months ahead. In a previous report, we have covered some of the reasons behind why the A380 project has sadly, ultimately failed carriers which you can read here. As the global fleet of A380s continues to diminish, the opportunity to fly on such a magnificent aircraft is quickly coming to an end.
Lufthansa has said that it is a top priority to begin discussions with unions and staff to keep as many jobs as possible.
Our best wishes go out to all those currently part of the Lufthansa family and we hope that the impact they will face is minimal. These are difficult times for all those in the airline industry but we can be assured that there are betters days ahead.