Last week, I reported that Lufthansa was considering grounding its entire Airbus A380 fleet. It’s now official: all 14 Lufthansa A380s will soon be grounded. Who’s next? Air France? British Airways?
Aero Telegraph (via OMAAT) reports it viewed an internal Lufthansa document which confirmed the plan to ground the A380 fleet until May. Startlingly, the document also revealed A380 loads have averaged 35%, which is not enough to be profitable.
Grounding the A380 is only one side of the problem. What happens to the staff, especially pilots who are only rated to fly the A380?
Lufthansa is already offering unpaid leave for all employees and instituted a hiring freeze. New initiatives are on hold, which may affect projects like Lufthansa’s new first class product for the 777.
But with Lufthansa considering cuts of up to 50% across the Lufthansa Group (Austrian, Brussels, Eurowings, Lufthansa, and SWISS), voluntary leave will unlikely be enough.
Stay tuned for potential labor disharmony (including strikes) if Lufthansa pilots and flight attendants are grounded on a long-term basis.
Is Air France Next?
With Ben Smith at the helm of Air France, I’m frankly surprised we haven’t seen the Air France A380s parked yet. Recall Smith’s explanation for why Air France is already electing to retire the A380s ahead of schedule:
“The other seven have older seats and we’re in the middle of making the decision on how long those A380s will be staying in the Air France fleet and whether we should invest €30-€40 million ($33.8-$45.1 million) per aircraft in upgrading those seats.”
This seems like the perfect opportunity to accelerate that effort. I hope not before I get the chance to fly it…
> Read More: Air France A380 Retirement Is Hardly A Surprise
Lufthansa will park the A380s at their respective bases in Frankfurt and Munich.
I wonder if Air France is next and potentially British Airways as well? Sadly, it seems like an ideal time for Air France to pull its aging A380s out of the fleet ahead of schedule.
> Read More: Lufthansa May Ground A380 Fleet, Slash Capacity By 50%
image: Kohei Kanno / Wikimedia Commons
“Lufthansa is already offering unpaid leave for all employees and instituted a hiring freeze. ”
But the NY fed is in the market today with unprecedented Repo facility trying pump money into the stock market. These capitalists should be losing their shirts today and they probably will, but that they wont lose their underwear and their home is because there is someone backstopping their capitalism.
Next time a republican talks about capitalism to say why we can’t afford healthcare for everyone or how hard working they are, be sure to punch them in the face. They have swagger only because of someone else they don’t know or see.
@debit I’m with you 110% on this! Funny how all the capitalists turn into socialists when the going gets tough.
Here’s a great video on the coronavirus and how the New World Order is attempting to take over. This will really open your eyes.
The fed and governments offering businesses loans that they pay back with interest sounds like capitalism to me at least much more than welfare or other programs where people don’t pay back a cent. Government offering people and companies assistance that is paid back should be the basis for all government assistance,
Back to relevant issues. I hope AF will not retire the A380. I got a flight on them in June and am really looking forward to it.
Well, that’s it! AF A380s have passed away just in May 2020. I know I am talking about this late, but AF A380s have just passed away right before the summer of that year!
I’d say the same thing in June 2020 as well.
Note, unpaid leave is not truly unpaid. The government takes over. Not the full salary but usually the vast bulk of it.
It’s not just the A380 folks. Air travel as we know it is dead! There’s no recovery from this.
@Mr G, what kind of idiotic comment is this? Unless you’ve invented teleportation, I’m fairly confident air travel won’t go away.
Frank, did my comment say that air travel is going away? I said air travel as we know it is dead. There’s still going to be flights but of course severely restricted. No more flying from the UK to Houston for a steak.
You said there was no recovery, implying total industry will cease to exist! Just a moronic comment.
I live under the approach path for LAX. Yesterday I saw a Lufthansa 747 coming in.
I really hope they don’t ground the AF 380s. I specifically chose one for my trip this summer.
Probably, for those two months, they will be replaced with the A350s and A330-300s, I don’t think they will use the 340-600 tnat has almost the same costs.