Lufthansa mulls full A380 fleet withdrawal

Lufthansa yesterday announced the transfer of two more A380 to the Munich hub, splitting the fleet in two.

It’s come as a continuing row with Fraport, owners of Frankfurt Airport, and what Lufthansa claims is its refusal to act quickly or at all, in updating customer processing facilities at the airport.

From a passenger perspective Frankfurt is more than reasonable but compared to the way the new facilities operate at Munich – especially the new terminal, it’s very early 2000’s rather than nearly the third decade of the 21st century.

Fraport spent billions building Lufthansa an A380 wing for 4 aircraft and 3 other long haul but it’s not been updated since.

Lufthansa have already agreed with Airbus to return 6 A380’s, they’ll be surrendered by 2021-23 as new 777-9 and A359’s are delivered.

However the fleet will then be down to just 8 and internal figures are showing that that’s not an economical number to keep flying.

Lufthansa spent a fortune on specialised maintenance facilities at Frankfurt but already sees that as being essential for the 777-9 which is physically bigger in footprint terms than the A380, with longer wings and greater length.

The result is that a full retirement decision is likely within a year, seeing the whole fleet exit by 2025-26.

If this is seen as the situation at Lufthansa the argument for the rest of the AirFrance fleet makes even less sense, it would come as no surprise to see them do the same over a similar period.