Lufthansa is not particularly optimistic on the industry’s return to pre-crisis levels. As a result the airline announced significant fleet changes today, with many aircraft to be removed from service.
[I] will take months until the global travel restrictions are completely lifted and years until the worldwide demand for air travel returns to pre-crisis levels.
Long-haul fleet cuts
Lufthansa will retire six of its A380s, seven A340-600s and five 747-400s permanently. None of these moves will ground the types completely. The moves are “based on the environmental as well as economic disadvantages of these aircraft types” according to the company’s statement.
An additional three A340-300s operated by Lufthansa Cityline will be removed from service. These planes have operating long-haul tourist routes for Lufthansa since 2015.
The associated capacity cuts derived from these retirements will affect both the Frankfurt and Munich hubs.
Short-haul fleet cuts
Lufthansa’s short-haul fleet will see 11 of its A320s removed from service as part of the cuts. Additionally, Eurowings will reduce its fleet by 10 A320s per the announcement. Eurowings will also reduce long-haul operations but details on specific capacity cuts are not disclosed.
The company will also accelerate the consolidation of its Germanwings operations under the Eurowings umbrella. The carrier notes it will further discuss these options with its unions as job losses are expected.
The other LH Group Carriers
Austrian and Brussels Airlines will both see additional restructuring, beyond the previously announced cuts. This will include further fleet reductions. Swiss will also adjust fleet size through a combination of deferal of new short-haul aircraft and potentially phasing out older planes more aggressively.
For a (generally) up-to-date listing of airlines and their operational levels check out this spreadsheet maintained by PaxEx.Aero and other industry experts.
More on COVID-19 and the airlines affected
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