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Boeing 747-400 stay for now

Lufthansa leaves little hope for the Airbus A380

Removed from the flight plan: Lufthansa no longer plans to fly the final eight Airbus A380 - unless something unexpected happens.

It is not yet a final farewell. On Monday (September 21), the Lufthansa Group announced that it is transferring various aircraft into long-term storage and no longer plans to use them. These include the remaining eight Airbus A380, which the airline kept after returning six other Superjumbos to the manufacturer.

This means that the Airbus A380 will disappear from Lufthansa’s operations for the time being. However, the Group is giving its largest aircraft one last, but small chance – unlike competitor Air France, which has already decommissioned it. The aircraft would «only be reactivated in the event of an unexpectedly rapid market recovery», Lufthansa states in a press release.

Faster to a simpler fleet structure

The same small chance is given to ten Airbus A340-600 already stored in Teruel, which should have been flying again in the future. Another seven of the four-engined aircraft, which are also parked at the Spanish airport, will be permanently decommissioned. The remaining few Boeing 747-400, on the other hand, are apparently being spared for the time being.

Lufthansa is thus moving much faster than planned towards a goal that the Group set itself more than a year ago: a much simpler fleet structure. In June 2019, the management announced that in the medium term it would concentrate on eight long-haul models. This would lead to «lower costs for crew training, maintenance and operations».

Many models were nearing the end anyway

At that time, the management announced that in the mid-term, 13 Boeing 747-400, 17 Airbus A340-600 and 15 A340-300 would be taken out of service at Lufthansa, six Boeing 777-200 ER and six Boeing 767-300 ER at Austrian Airlines, five Airbus A340-300 at Swiss and four at Edelweiss. Changes were also announced for Brussels Airlines, Eurowings and Lufthansa Cargo.

Overall, the Lufthansa Group is shrinking its fleet even more significantly than previously announced. «The medium term fleet planning will be adjusted and currently foresees a permanent, Group-wide capacity reduction of 150 aircraft by the middle of this decade», the company said. Until now, the forecast only saw of a reduction of 100 aircraft.

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