Lufthansa to Keep Flying the A380 Until 2030
Airbus Airlines

Lufthansa to Keep Flying the A380 Until 2030

Lufthansa Airbus A380 departing from Los Angeles.

DALLAS — Lufthansa (LH) has announced its plans to continue operating A380-800 aircraft into the late 2020s or early 2030s. The decision comes as a means to fill the capacity gap caused by delayed deliveries of Boeing 777-9 and A350 aircraft.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, LH initially retired all fourteen of its A380s. However, as travel restrictions eased and demand began to rebound, the airline decided to reactivate six of the aircraft. It has since committed to reintroducing two more. The remaining six A380s were sold to Airbus during the pandemic.

According to a report by ch-aviation.com, LH’s decision to keep operating A380s hinges on several key factors. One factor is the demand for air travel, which will determine whether the airline needs the additional capacity provided by the A380s. Another factor is the ability of Airbus and Boeing to deliver other aircraft.

Lufthansa Group Chief Executive Carsten Spohr stated that the continuation of A380 operations depends on demand and the delivery schedules of Airbus and Boeing, but the plan to keep operating the superjumbo is nothing new.

Back in June, Airways had the opportunity to discuss the future of LH’s once-retired A380s with Dirk Janzen, LH’s Vice President of Sales in the Americas. When asked how long he estimated that the airline would keep these superjumbos active, Janzen began by saying that it was definitely a big decision to retire the A380 and to return them as well, especially because LH had to train its pilots and crew in Spain and keep all aircraft up to date in terms of maintenance.

The VP then added, “We definitely plan to spend at least several more years with the A380. However, it also depends on the aircraft we currently have on order. Since there is a delay with these aircraft orders, we are uncertain about when they will retire, but we are confident that these aircraft [A380s] will stay for a long period of time.”

Indeed, with strong demand for air travel not waning any time soon, the best advantage of the A380 is just the number of seats it has.

Lufthansa A380-841 (D-AIMK) arrives at Boston Logan from Munich. Photo: Marty Basaria/Airways

Lufthansa’s A380 Reintegration, Refurbishment Plans


Lufthansa has already reintroduced three A380s into service, operating them on routes from Munich to Boston and New York JFK. One aircraft is currently undergoing maintenance at Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL), while the others remain in storage.

All eight aircraft will undergo cabin refurbishment and have LH’s new business-class seats installed in the coming years.

In addition to the A380s, the German airline has firm orders for 34 A350-900s—apart from the 21 already in service and five more ordered for subsidiary SWISS (LX), 10 A350-1000s, and 20 Boeing 777-9s.

While the A350 deliveries are ongoing, though slightly delayed, the certification process for the Boeing 777-9 is taking longer, and the aircraft is not expected to enter service before 2025.


Lufthansa A380 at LAX. Photo: Luca Flores/Airways

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