Lufthansa brings back the A380

Surging demand and delays to the Boeing 777-9 mean the German flag-carrier’s superjumbo is set to soar once more.

By Bloomberg News, June 28 2022
Lufthansa brings back the A380

Lufthansa will return the Airbus A380 double-decker jet to service from mid-2023, reversing its pandemic-era decision to retire the aircraft as travel demand soars.

The carrier is assessing how many A380s, which are currently parked in Spain and France for long-term “deep storage”, will need to be reactivated, and where they should fly.

While six of the Star Alliance member’s 14-strong superjumbo fleet have already been sold back to Airbus, eight A380s remain on the books.

One reason for bringing back the four-engine model is delays in deliveries of ordered aircraft, Lufthansa said in a statement Monday.

The Boeing 777X, which was meant to replace the superjumbo as the biggest model in Lufthansa’s lineup, has slipped five years behind schedule, with deliveries now postponed to 2025.

“We decided today to put the A380, which continues to enjoy great popularity, back into service at Lufthansa in summer 2023,” Lufthansa said in the statement.

The sudden rebound in travel across the world after two years of stringent curbs has prompted several carriers to bring back the hulking model that had largely been written off when Covid-19 upended the aviation industry. By the end of 2022, monthly A380 flights will be almost 60% of pre-Covid totals, according to Cirium data.

The superjumbo – seen as heralding a luxurious new chapter for aviation with its onboard bars and whisper-quiet interior when it was introduced in 2005 – was falling out of favor before the pandemic hit, as airlines turned to smaller, more fuel-efficient planes. Airbus killed off the program in 2019.

At the height of the pandemic in June 2020, Lufthansa retired 6 of its 14 A380s, with the rest mothballed for at least two years with the prospect of the model never returning to service. An airline executive at the time said the chance of operating the jet from its main hub of Frankfurt was “close to zero.”

Lufthansa has previously pegged its future on the modern and fuel-efficient Airbus A350 and Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner jets, both of which “will primarily be replacing four-engine aircraft.”

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

QF

04 Apr 2014

Total posts 204

could have seen this coming months ago.  Funny, some of us did......

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1111

The A350 and 787 are both fuel efficient but from a passenger perspective they offer an inferior experience especially the 787 which is pretty ordinary across all classes.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Jun 2014

Total posts 17

Although it is not stated, I assume that the A380s will be supplementing their 747-8 fleet rather than the 787/A350 twins. 

AT
AT

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Sep 2012

Total posts 367

"Build it and they will come" is never more true about the A380 and Emirates is a testament to that. OK it's probably not as fuel efficient but passengers love it so much they make bookings to fly the A380 so why on earth remove it from service.

Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

24 Aug 2018

Total posts 103

Having experienced the B787, the B 747, as well as the A 380, across the Pacific Pond, I have to admit the A380 stands out as the most comfortable, not withstanding the old J accommodation. Direct route from Melbourne via Perth was a highlight trip, even in the B 787 albeit in J. With borders opening up and delayed trips being planned, I will make sure that the bulk of the flights will be on the A 380 regardless of the carrier, so Alan J, if you want my business, ensure that all your A380 are refurbished and ready to service all your Aussie customers. Top marks for the new Perth to Rome and Paris ( proposed) Got to love the last one!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer P1

23 Aug 2014

Total posts 98

A lovely aircraft to fly if you prefer the generosity of huge open spaces inflight and don't care much for the whole door closing privacy thing - then there's the novel mens urinal in the toilet!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jul 2013

Total posts 36

This is probably just a thought bubble on my part, but would it be feasible to subsidise A380 services to enable passengers to choose the type ahead of others. Say a 5%-10% surcharge on full fare? I for one would readily pay it, as based on my experience I believe the A380 is far superior to the B787 alternative.

29 Jan 2012

Total posts 130

If airlines focused on customer comfort and loyalty rather than profits, the A380 would have never left the skies. It is a magnificent aircraft and versatile.

Replacing them with 787's and A350's on long haul - one can only shudder at the thought.

Joe
Joe

03 May 2013

Total posts 654

It amazes me that such intelligent airline executives were so short sighted jumping on the 'band wagon' writing off the A380 - painting doom and gloom for its future. Surely it was obvious demand would rebound to pre Covid levels let alone pent up demand initially? The world is growing not getting smaller...most airports can't keep up. Solution A380!


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