Lufthansa has taken the first Airbus A380 out of storage for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic decimated air travel demand.
The A380 has been reactivated by storage and MRO specialist Tarmac Aerosave and was flown from its Teruel facility in Spain to Lufthansa in Frankfurt last Friday.
On Friday, the eight-year-old A380 super-jumbo took off from Teruel Airport at 4:05 pm, bound for Frankfurt, where it will go into Lufthansa’s maintenance base for further preparation work.
Lufthansa placed its 14 A380s into storage early during the pandemic, with the carrier suggesting they would only return to service if the post-Covid demand recovery was more substantial than expected.
However, in June, Lufthansa said it would re-introduce some A380s next year to counter aircraft delivery delays and address a sharp rise in passenger demand.
Last month, chief executive Carsten Spohr said Lufthansa planned to bring back more A380s than the three it already earmarked for operation from its Munich base from June 2023. “We’ll need to bring that number up [based on] the demand [trend] and for operational reasons… Three is not enough,” he said.
In June, Lufthansa finally revealed that the A380 would return to service due to the surge in travel demand that followed the easing of pandemic restrictions. That demand doesn’t yet show any sign of abating despite an inflationary cloud hanging over Europe.
Lufthansa would rather not reactivate the quad-engine high fuel-consuming aircraft. However, with the Boeing 777X programme still impacted by rolling delays, Lufthansa and other launch customers have had to think of ways to boost capacity.