Could Lufthansa Realistically Reactivate The Airbus A380?

Lufthansa wasn’t the first airline to ground the gigantic Airbus A380, initially using the beast for high-capacity repatriation missions from as far away as New Zealand. Once these were done, there was no demand to fill the aircraft, and they were grounded, with all aircraft having now been sent to long-term storage facilities.

Since before its first flight, the Airbus A380 captured the attention of everybody from aviation enthusiasts to travelers and airlines. Many airlines fell out of love with the giant of the skies prematurely, but does that mean that these giant aircraft won’t return to the skies at all?

Has Lufthansa ruled out the A380?

Lufthansa seemingly gave its A380s a glimmer of hope during the Q&A following the airline’s Q1 results yesterday. Asked whether the airline’s capacity couldn’t be further expanded due to aircraft limitations, Spohr said this wasn’t the case, citing the 14 Airbus A380s currently in storage.

“We still have extra aircraft, extra pilots, extra flight attendants… As you know there’s 14 A380s alone sitting in [France and] Spain that we could’ve brought back to the air.”

Lufthansa’s Airbus A380s are all in deep storage. Photo: Getty Images

Air Insight reported that Lufthansa’s position that it won’t be bringing the Airbus A380 back hasn’t changed. Though the publication reports that Spohr said he would be “the happiest man in the world” if demand did force the carrier to bring back the Airbus A380.

“The A380 will obviously not be coming back.” – Carsten Spohr – August 2021

Technically it should be possible

From a technical point of view, it should be pretty easy to bring the Airbus A380 back to service if Lufthansa decided that is what it wanted to do. Firstly, the group’s fleet declaration at the end of 2021 showed that Lufthansa still had 14 Airbus A380s in its fleet.

Additionally, while it may not intend to fly the aircraft again, Lufthansa is storing them in a manner that allows them to be flown again should it wish. The planes are currently spread across two sites. Tarmac Aerosave in Tarbes (LDE), France, alongside Tarmac Aerosave in Teruel (TEV), Spain. While the company has scrapped some A380s, it is keeping many more in a state of deep sleep. Last year, we saw the first giant jets being awoken from their slumber. British Airways with draw three A380s from Teruel.

Registration msn Status Lease
D-AIMA 38 Stored Teruel, Spain (TEV)
D-AIMB 41 Stored Teruel, Spain (TEV)
D-AIMC 44 Stored Tarbes, France (LDE)
D-AI® 48 Stored Teruel, Spain (TEV)
D-AIME 61 Stored Teruel, Spain (TEV)
D-AIMF 66 Stored Teruel, Spain (TEV)
D-AIMG 69 Stored Teruel, Spain (TEV)
D-AIMH 70 Stored Teruel, Spain (TEV)
D-AIMI 72 Stored Tarbes, France (LDE)
D-AIMJ 73 Stored Teruel, Spain (TEV)
D-AIMK 146 Stored Teruel, Spain (TEV)
D-AIML 149 Stored Teruel, Spain (TEV)
D-AIMM 175 Stored Teruel, Spain (TEV)
D-AIMN 177 Stored Teruel, Spain (TEV)

Due to the precautions taken to safely store aircraft for extended periods, it would take a fair bit of work to bring the fleet back to an airworthy state. This doesn’t mean that doing so is impossible, but Lufthansa likely wouldn’t do so unless it absolutely had to.

Ultimately, it seems unlikely that Lufthansa will exercise the option to resume A380 flights, but it’s not impossible, and we’ve seen strange things happen in the industry.

Do you think that Lufthansa would resume Airbus A380 flights? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!

Source: Lufthansa Q1 Results, AirInsight


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