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In 2021, Lufthansa’s CEO told the world that the airline’s A380 would not return from their pandemic-induced grounding and in April 2022, the same CEO reiterated that Lufthansa’s A380s were gone for good. Just 3 months later, however, the narrative suddenly changed and the largest passenger aircraft around found itself with a new lease of life within the Lufthansa fleet.
How long that new lease of life will last is anybody’s guess, but as things stand, Lufthansa is set to have 6 Airbus A380s operating by next summer, and a further 2 operating by 2025 with over half of these aircraft dedicated to the airline’s transatlantic routes.
Lufthansa’s A380s are coming to America
Pre-pandemic, Lufthansa’s A380s were based in Frankfurt but starting from winter 2023, all the airline’s whale jets will be based in Munich.
Lufthansa already operates its Munich-Boston and Munich- New York JFK with A380 aircraft, and an A380 is set to take over the Munich – Los Angeles route at the end of October 2023.
From summer 2024, however, we can expect to see Lufthansa operating up to 4 of its US routes with aircraft that, less than 18 months ago, we were told would never fly again.
Boston, Los Angeles and New York (JFK) will all see the A380 return for summer 2024, while Washington D.C. (IAD) will get A380 service from Lufthansa for the very first time.
There are the currently scheduled A380 flights for summer 2024:
LH424 MUC 15:35 – 17:50 BOS (Daily)
LH425 BOS 20:05 – 09:15+1 day MUC (Daily)
LH452 MUC 12:15 – 15:15 LAX (Daily)
LH453 LAX 17:35 – 13:45+1 day MUC (Daily)
LH410 MUC 12:10 – 0800 15:00 (Daily)
LH411 JFK 17:30 – 07:35+1 day MUC (Daily)
LH414 MUC 16:30 – 19:25 IAD* (Daily)
LH415 IAD 22:20 – 12:25+1 day MUC* (Daily)
*From June 2024
For anyone wondering where the remaining A380s will be flying too: Bangkok will see the Lufthansa A380 from late October 2023, while the Munich-Delhi route will be served from late March 2024.
As little as 18 months ago, the obituary for Lufthansa’s A380 had been written and the aircraft was being written off as too expensive to operate in the ‘modern era’.
Well, Boeing’s Dreamliners and Airbus’ A350s may be the new kids on the block with their two-engine configurations and impressive fuel economy figures, but it seems like they still can’t replace the A380 entirely.
As a result, Lufthansa’s A380s are making a comeback that Lazarus would have been proud of and at least half of the returning aircraft will find themselves operating to cities in the US.