So much can change in the space of a year. At the start of 2020, Lufthansa was still operating 14 Airbus A380s. However, due to the pandemic, the airline has already retired six of its A380s, with management unsure whether the remaining aircraft will return to service. But where is the fleet now, and how did we get here?
2020 was a bad year for the Airbus A380 worldwide. Except for China Southern, which continued to operate its full fleet right through the year, every airline’s A380 operations were affected, with some airlines like Lufthansa going as far as to retire aircraft of the type.
Assisting in the repatriation effort
While many Airbus A380 carriers had already grounded their fleets of the giant by the start of April, Lufthansa kept a handful of Airbus A380s flying for repatriation reasons. This saw a few of the aircraft making their first (and likely last) appearance in New Zealand in mid-April.
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According to data from FlightRadar24.com, Lufthansa last operated a passenger Airbus A380 flight on April 13th, 2020. This was a repatriation flight from Bangkok to Frankfurt (a continuation of LH357 from Auckland to Bangkok). Since then, the Airbus A380 fleet has ended up split across two facilities.