Lufthansa grounds Airbus A380 fleet through at least 2021

Jun 19, 2020

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

While I’ve had the opportunity to experience Lufthansa first class on several of the carrier’s long-haul planes — as recently as earlier this year, on the Airbus A340-600 — I have yet to try the carrier’s top cabin on the superjumbo A380. And, as reported by Bloomberg, I may never get the chance.

Lufthansa initially made the decision to ground its fleet of 14 Airbus A380s as coronavirus began its global spread in early March, and now, according to an airline spokesperson, the double-decker planes will remain on the ground through all of 2021, as well. Previously, Lufthansa regularly flew its A380s to a number of U.S. gateways, such as Los Angeles (LAX), New York (JFK) and San Francisco (SFO), along with several destinations in Asia.

Lufthansa’s A380s seat a whopping 509 flyers each. Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy.


As for what’s in store for 2022 and beyond, the fleet will operate exclusively out of Munich Airport (MUC), rather than the carrier’s main Frankfurt (FRA) hub, and even then, only “if demand picks up.”

With eight first-class seats on each plane, the grounding will potentially have a big impact on Lufthansa first-class award availability, a popular pick among Star Alliance loyalists, including flyers redeeming from Air Canada’s Aeroplan, Avianca LifeMiles and United MileagePlus.

Lufthansa’s A380s each feature eight first-class seats — the smaller A350s do not have first. (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)


If Lufthansa chooses to replace its A380s with select Airbus A330s, A340s or Boeing 747-8s, passengers will still have a first-class option, though the carrier’s top cabin is not available on the Airbus A350, the most fuel-efficient pick.

While disappointing, the decision to keep the A380 grounded certainly makes sense given the mid-pandemic travel environment. Borders remain closed between many regions all around the world, and even once they begin to reopen, it could take years for demand to return.

Until then, Lufthansa’s more efficient Airbus A350s, which seats a grand total of 293 passengers, would be better suited to carrying smaller groups of flyers than a double-decker superjumbo, with space for over 500.

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.