As the likelihood of the Airbus A380 returning to the active Lufthansa fleet diminishes, the German airline is already calling the Boeing 747-8 its new flagship aircraft.
Lufthansa CEO Calls 747-8 The New Flagship Aircraft
First the bad news, then the good news. The bad news is that it is looking increasingly unlikely that Lufthansa will ever bring back the A380 into active service. While eight of 14 aircraft remain stored and on standby for re-activation, Lufthansa has announced that they have been “removed from planning” and will only be re-activated should an “unexpectedly rapid market recovery” occur.
Sadly, Lufthansa expects to retire 150 aircraft over the next five years, 1/3 more than previously announced according to FlightGlobal. That will include Lufthansa’s fleet of 14 747-400s. Those aircraft were supposed to stick around for another decade but now will be retired by 2025.
But now for some good news. Speaking (virtually) at the World Aviation Festival, Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr said Lufthansa has no plans to retire any of its 19 747-8 aircraft. In fact, he said the 747-8 will serve as “our flagship… after the crisis”.
Spohr also called the 747-8 the “most efficient aircraft” in the Lufthansa fleet. While that may sound odd considering the 747-8 has four engines, the aircraft has more cargo capacity than even the A380. As business as morphed during the pandemic, cargo space has become relatively more valuable.
The future of the Lufthansa longhaul fleet remains uncertain. Lufthansa currently has the following widebodies on order:
- 20 Boeing 777-9s
- 20 Boeing 787-9s
- 27 Airbus A350s
As we’ve discussed before on Live and Let’s Fly, first class is planned for the 777-9s, but only on later deliveries. No design has been revealed and the pandemic has already prompted a delivery delay in this aircraft.
As much as I would love to see the A380 remain active and the flagship of the Lufthansa fleet, I am at least happy that Lufthansa plans to stick with the 747-8 for at least another decade. The beautiful aircraft is a very fitting flagship indeed.
> Read More: The Future Of First Class On Lufthansa
> Read More: Lufthansa Affirms Commitment To First Class, Hints At Private Suite