Lufthansa is now looking to retire all Airbus A380s, Boeing 747s

The deepening fleet shakeup could see 100 jets culled, leading to further job losses.

By Bloomberg News, September 11 2020
Lufthansa is now looking to retire all Airbus A380s, Boeing 747s

Lufthansa plans to eliminate its biggest passenger jets as it deepens fleet cuts, leading to a parallel surge in job reductions, people with knowledge of the proposals said.

Lufthansa is looking at retiring its remaining Airbus A380 double-deckers, the bulk of smaller A340s, and all of its Boeing 747-400 jumbos, according to the people, who asked not to be named discussing a confidential matter. There would also be a cull of narrow-body planes that feed longer routes, they said.

The fleet cuts would surpass the 100-aircraft reduction so far disclosed by Lufthansa, net of new deliveries, with job losses exceeding the 22,000 that the carrier had said such a contraction would entail, said the people. No final decision has been made on the measures, they said.

A spokesman for Lufthansa declined to comment.

Europe’s biggest airline is falling back on its most economically sustainable routes as the coronavirus crisis roils global travel markets.

Retiring thirsty four-engine aircraft like those being targeted will remove high-capacity models that are hardest to fill while also boosting margins by slashing fuel burn.

The pandemic has thrown Lufthansa into a spin, forcing it to accept €9 billion (US$11 billion) in state aid to survive. Hopes for a quick rebound have been dashed by a surge in Covid-19 cases across Europe, with carriers including EasyJet and British Airways owner IAG paring expansion plans.

Lufthansa may keep a handful of younger A340-600s, preserving capacity for busier routes, the people said. That would also reduce the size of immediate writedowns, which will factor into its decision making, one person said.

The group has so far said that while it aims to mothball about 300 planes next year and 200 in 2022, the 760-strong fleet will need to be about 100 aircraft smaller from 2023.

Handelsblatt reported this week that the number cut could increase, without saying which models might be affected.

The new moves would leave Lufthansa with a four-engine fleet limited mainly to Boeing 747-8I jumbos, of which it has 19, the youngest of which are just five years old.

This article is published under license from Bloomberg Media: the original article can be viewed here

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Nov 2014

Total posts 1

Interesting! Is keeping the 748 an age thing or could it be they find it the better aircraft over the 380? 

2020 is just not a good news year.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2017

Total posts 315

Most likely an age thing.  

Also Boeing won't be making anymore passenger 747-8Is from early 2022 (when the last one rolls out), only the freighter version is available.

Exec Traveller reference:

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 Nov 2011

Total posts 17

Wow.  Initially when I read the heading I thought the 748s were going too and had me wondering who still flew the 747 (Korean and Air China?) I am glad they are at least keeping the newer jets.  What a novelty it will be to hop on a flight to HKG, LHR etc when the time comes!

American Airlines - AAdvantage

02 Jun 2019

Total posts 16

The 19 747-8 are the right size for the former A380 routes.   748 is a great cargo hauler, something the A380 fails at miserably.   An LH long haul fleet of 748, A350 and soon 777-9 has two things going for it, fuel efficiency and youth.    

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Lufthansa is now looking to retire all Airbus A380s, Boeing 747s