Lufthansa has retired seven of its 14 Airbus A380 aircraft in response to COVID-19. Now the carrier has revealed that the A380 will not return to Frankfurt.
Lufthansa Faces Same A380 Issues As Other Carriers
Carriers around the world are retiring A380 aircraft. Air France became the first airline to officially retire its entire A380 fleet earlier this week. With air travel demand not projected to return for at least three years, Lufthansa is also faced with a hard choice concerning its flagship A380 fleet: hope for the best or just take the write-off now?
It makes very little sense to even think about operating the A380 right now with passenger traffic depressed and other aircraft better equipped for cargo missions.
As a result, Lufthansa has already announced that half of its A380 fleet will not return.
Lufthansa Will Base A380 in Munich, If It Returns
With Lufthansa investing in Munich’s Franz Josef Strauss International Airport, it opted to move A380s from Frankfurt to Munich over the last several years, eventually splitting the fleet in half, with seven assigned to Frankfurt and seven assigned to Munich.
> Read More: Lufthansa Will Position More A380s In Munich
With half the A380 fleet now retired early, Lufthansa could have either continued to split operations or consolidated all remaining aircraft into one airport.
Per Aero.de, Lufthansa has chosen to base the A380 exclusively in Munich…if it returns. A Lufthansa spokesperson stated:
“After considering various criteria and against the background of making Lufthansa competitive in the long term, the company decided that the A380 will only be used from Munich in the future.”
Underscoring the fact that the aircraft may never return, the Lufthansa spokesperson added:
“The Munich A380 will remain parked, the option to reactivate it will still be available for Munich.”
So not only will the A380 remain parked, but its return is merely a guess at this point.
I have many fonds memories (and some not so fond) of flying the Lufthansa A380 to Frankfurt. To see the Lufthansa A380 never return to Frankfurt is sad enough. The real possibility of the Lufthansa A380 never returning to the skies is even sadder.