In times of the corona pandemic, fewer and fewer people fly. This also has an impact on Airbus' problem child. Lufthansa is therefore mothballing the entire A380 fleet until further notice.
For the longest time, a Lufthansa Airbus A380 aircraft landed at Frankfurt Airport for a long time this Sunday. Due to the worldwide collapse in demand in the corona crisis, the company is parking its entire fleet of 14 aircraft of this type indefinitely at the Frankfurt and Munich hubs. The farewell to the largest passenger aircraft in the world, which had already been initiated in the Group, could accelerate in the crisis. Lufthansa 9.05 Lufthansa had placed high hopes on the ambitious euro plane and had started the advertising machine vigorously in early summer 2010. Thousands of spectators flocked to test starts and landings in Rheinmünster near Karlsruhe and Leipzig. "Frankfurt am Main" made its first long-haul flight with passengers to South Africa to bring the national soccer team to the World Cup. The first scheduled flight then went to Tokyo on June 11, 2010, and pilots and passengers love the giant bird to this day. For example, Lufthansa captain Uwe Harter says: "It is really fascinating how agile an A380 can be flown. Compared to older Airbus models, the engineers have once again made an enormous technological leap." Frequent flyer Torsten Gründer, on the other hand, praises the comfort: "Quiet, space, space – it has a little more of everything." The IT specialist regrets the gradual farewell of the flagship "extraordinarily" because no other jet has been as calm in the air as the A380. The problems of the four-engine A380 quickly became apparent in commercial operations. 509 seats in the Lufthansa configuration or even more than 800 seats in continuous economy seating are a difficult block to fill in every flight plan. The Airbus idea was to feed the large intercontinental aircraft at a hub with a number of feeder flights. A concept that can only succeed on a few racetracks between the world's metropolises. Boeing 162.00 competitor Boeing had shown itself to be skeptical from the start and no longer planned a successor to its own Jumbo 747. Finally, new long-haul aircraft with more economical kerosene twin engines made point-to-point traffic more attractive. Passengers like to use new direct connections instead of having to change hubs several times. Airbus was only able to collect 251 orders for its largest aircraft, of which 242 have already been delivered. The main customer was the Arab Emirates, which operate 115 machines. The production cessation was finally announced in February 2019. For Singapore Airlines, the giant planes paid off so badly that two planes had already been scrapped to at least monetize the components. Expert: less A380 than before Corona "The A380 has never been the most profitable aircraft. All operators have noticed that," says Airborne consultant Gerald Wissel. Even after the crisis, there would still be routes on which the use of such a large aircraft would pay off. "But there will definitely be fewer A380s going up than before Corona." Airbus 68.21 Even before the crisis, Lufthansa had agreed with the manufacturer Airbus that it would take back six of the 14 aircraft at an undisclosed price from 2022. 40 double-engine and smaller Boeing 787-9 and Airbus A350-900 long-haul jets were ordered on the same train. The Boeing Dreamliner is being used for the first time in the Lufthansa Group. According to Lufthansa, no specific A380 future pictures at Lufthansa when and if the A380 will ever go on a big tour with the crane again. Wissel anticipates that there will only be a small need to catch up on air travel, which is only due to business travelers. Private travelers could not make up for missed vacations at will and could also act more carefully than in pre-crisis times. And the many unusual trade fairs and congresses worldwide would not be made up for after all. The longer the crisis lasted, the sooner the next edition would take place. The last A380 scheduled flight for the time being was completed on Sunday by the aircraft with the identifier D-AIMM and the christening name "Delhi", which has been in service since 2015 and with a good 25,200 flight hours on its watch was actually a very young aircraft. Pilot Harter has not given up hope of a revival of the concept despite the Airbus production shutdown: "You can tell from every corner of the plane that a longer version was planned from the start. With another 200 seats, the plane would perhaps feel better You might need something like that in ten years. I would be pleased. "If this does not happen, Harder and his around 200 A380 colleagues would have to retrain to a different aircraft type. But that would not be a major problem, because the A350 with two engines ordered by Lufthansa uses the components and technologies developed for the A380 in many areas.