MIAMI – Upon reading the Lufthansa Group (LH) 2020 financial report from March 4, it is clear that LH is deeply restructuring its combined fleet, streamlining and reducing aircraft models to better meet the new route requirements brought forward by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The report states that the new LH fleet will be mainly comprised of Boeing 787 and 777, as well as Airbus A350, for long-haul routes. The airline’s short and medium-haul fleet remains composed of Airbus A320 family types.
At the end of 2020, the Lufthansa Group fleet stood at 757 aircraft, out of which 421 were operated by LH, and the remainder split between Swiss (LX) 109 aircraft, Austrian (OS) 79, Brussels Airlines (SN) 45, Eurowings (EW) 85, and LH Cargo 18 aircraft.
The Group reduced its fleet by 150 aircraft by selling or decommissioning several types as well as terminating current lease agreements. The fleet reduction is based on the early retirement of older aircraft. These include 3 B767-300, operated by OS and recently sold to MDI (MonoCoque Diversified Interests).
Brussels Airlines has shed three Airbus A330-200, LH three A319, and EW five A321. Other aircraft alienated from the Group’s fleet includes seven Bombardier CRJ, operated by LH Cityline.
Sub-fleet Decomissions, Deliveries
The sub-fleet of Airbus A340-600 – 17 aircraft – and A380 -14 aircraft – have been mothballed either permanently or for a long period of time. Six of the latter type are to be sold in 2022 or 2023. Further sales concern seven A340-600, five Boeing 747-400, an expected 40 aircraft of the A320 family, as well as five MD11F but depending on the cargo market development.
At the end of 2020, the Group had a total of 350 aircraft in temporary decommission awaiting better days.
In regard to fleet renewal and streamlining, the Group has a standing order for a total of 177 aircraft, 26 of which are Airbus A350, 20 Boeing 787, 20 777X, and one 777F. The Boeing 777X fleet is now slated for a 2025 delivery.
A Challenging Year
Carsten Spohr, LH CEO, opened the 2020 annual report by saying, “2020 was one of the most challenging years in the history of the Lufthansa Group. We will never forget it.
The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic dealt an unprecedented blow to the entire airline industry and also to the Lufthansa Group.
Featured image: LUFTHANSA D-AIRK AIRBUS A321-131 NEW LIVERY. Photo: Fabrizio Spicuglia/Airways