DALLAS — After a three-year break due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Lufthansa (LH) resumed regular A380 flights on June 1, 2023. The first flight in the post-pandemic era went from Munich International Airport (MUN) to Boston International Airport (BOS).
The airline’s first A380 flight after the pandemic was operated by a 9.6-year-old Airbus A380 with registration D-AIMK. This A380 is the first of up to six aircraft that LH plans to bring back into service.
Flight LH424 departed from Munich at 4:01 PM local time and arrived in Boston at 5:23 PM local time. Whereas the return flight LH425 departed BOS at 8:52 PM local time and arrived in MUC at 9:59 AM local time.
Lufthansa’s decision to reintroduce the A380s comes after the airline retired its entire fleet of 14 A380s in March 2020 due to the drastic decline in air travel caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time, the A380s were considered too large and expensive to operate.
However, with the recent recovery in air travel demand, the German flag carrier has reevaluated its approach and recognized the potential benefits of utilizing the A380s once again.
During this summer season, LH plans to use its A380s on a few routes, including long-haul trips from Munich to cities like New York, Bangkok, Los Angeles, and Singapore.
Travel Demand Surge Demands the Superjumbo
Despite the initial skepticism regarding the A380’s size and cost-effectiveness, LH plans to keep the aircraft in service until 2027. LH’s decision to reintroduce the A380s highlights the current surge in travel demand and the airline’s confidence in the recovery of the aviation industry.
Lufthansa plans to base its complete A380 fleet in Munich, with four planes scheduled for use and two as backups. As of now, the last two A380s remain idle, and the company has not decided whether to put them back in service.
The return of LH’s Airbus A380s to its active fleet is a significant achievement for the airline and the aviation industry as a whole. It’s a positive signal of recovery for the travel sector as air travel rebounds from the pandemic’s impacts.
Feature Image: Lufthansa A380. Photo: Brad Tisdel/Airways