LONDON – Lufthansa (LH) is mulling plans to provide a significant overhaul to its long-haul operations. According to Bloomberg, LH is considering the early retirements of its Airbus A380 and other airframes.
Insider sources at the airline stated that LH will reduce its fleet by 100, which includes the removal of its Boeing 747-400 and Airbus A340-300. This is currently at an early stage yet, with the details of the cuts yet to be firmed up and approved by the Board.
Potential Farewell to Some Legends?
|Airbus A340-300 (A343)||D-AIFC|
|Airbus A380-800 (A388)||D-AIMA|
|Boeing 747-400 (B744)||D-ABVM|
Whilst a significant amount of long-haul aircraft would be retired, some may be staying. It is understood that LH’s fleet of 19 Boeing 747-8 and some of the 12 Airbus A340-600 in the fleet will remain.
However, a memo released last month stated that the outright retirement of the 31 extra aircraft on top of the A388, Boeing 744, and A343 were also on the table. Additionally, LH is looking to retire some narrowbody aircraft, but this has not been announced at this time.
A380 Operators Beginning to Dwindle?
According to iflya380.com, 15 operators use the Airbus A380, but carriers such as Air France (AF) have said adieu already. For LH to be the next carrier to retire the type would be another blow to the program, of which we have seen with Boeing and the dwindling numbers of 747 in service as well.
It also comes as no surprise that airlines are considering similar actions for the A380. The same model applies to that with the Boeing 747, of which we have seen the likes of British Airways (BA) and Virgin Atlantic (VS) continue to retire airframes.
Long-Term Viability for Lufthansa
However disappointing for enthusiasts globally, it is unfortunately one of a series of moves that the airline has to make in order to remain afloat. Following bailouts and other restructuring moves, this will no doubt be one of the final steps in positioning LH for success in a post-COVID environment over the next few years.
This ultimately means that the Airbus A350 already in the fleet will play more of a significant role in its international operations, whatever reduced schedule it will fly upon the retirement of the 100 units.
For now, all we can do is wait and see whether LH gives the go-ahead for this to happen. If the airline does this, it will be yet another sad day in the industry.
Featured Image: Lufthansa (LH) Airbus A380-800. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons