Lufthansa CEO and the A380’s grounded indefinitely

D-AIMJ was the last to be sent to storage

In a speech published yesterday but to be given virtually to all of Lufthansa share holders Monday, Carsten Spohr describes an airline where

“It took 65 years to build this airline and it took 65 days to take us back to passenger numbers we had in 1955”.

The Lufthansa Group is spending €1m an hour just to keep it on life support.

Amidst the crisis speech, there were two significant announcements: Eurowings will not operate long haul, but a separate low cost airline will bring together the fleet of aircraft operating under that brand, Eurowings will be a European airline only.

The second was what amounts to a semi-permanent retirement of all A380’s. The implication was clearly, don’t be surprised if they don’t come back to service – ever.

The staggering amounts of money and the reversal of fortunes that people like Spohr are witnessing seems to have taken its toll. To most of them it’s verging on the unbelievable, and the underlying tone, while defiant and promising a return to normal eventually, was that of a man whose had the wind knocked out of him.

They say the best leaders are those who don’t want the job, but history chooses them anyway. The ones who should never be leaders are the ones who want it most.

Lufthansa pilots finish their mission taking D-AIMJ to storage – most of the 780 Lufthansa fleet is now on the ground.