Skip to content

Lufthansa brings the Airbus A380 out of retirement for summer 2023

June 28, 2022
4 min read
Lufthansa brings the Airbus A380 out of retirement for summer 2023
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.

Lufthansa is dusting off its fleet of A380s and launching them back into the skies after two years in “deep storage,” the company announced.

The German flagship carrier said as demand for travel surges, coupled with delays on orders of other aircraft, it's time for its collection of superjumbos to roar back into action.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

“We decided today to put the A380, which continues to enjoy great popularity, back into service at Lufthansa in summer 2023,” Lufthansa said in the statement.

(Photo by Ryan Patterson for The Points Guy)

The A380 seemed completely written off by the commercial flight industry by the time COVID-19 brought travel to its knees.

Related: A look inside Boeing’s 737 MAX factory

The past half-decade has seen the gas-guzzling superjumbo trudge grimly toward the scrapyard as younger, more fashionable and fuel-efficient models step into its limelight.

Then the pandemic appeared to accelerate the giant’s fall, as a number of carriers retired the expensive, hulking plane for good, favoring such planes as the Airbus A350 and the Boeing 777 and 787.

However, as more popular models suffer setbacks to their delivery schedules, many airlines — including Qantas and Singapore Airlines — are returning to the “monster of the skies” to meet growing demand.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

In fact, by the end of 2022, monthly A380 flights will be at almost 60% of pre-COVID-19 totals, according to Cirium data, which also reveals that 106 are back in service. That's up from a low of just four when the pandemic hit in April 2020.

Related: Could the beleaguered A380 be the key to unlocking fossil-free flying?

The A380 does, after all, have its perks.

A technological masterpiece and the world’s largest passenger aircraft, it has enough space for onboard showers and marble-topped cocktail bars, conjuring images of the golden age of aviation glamour. Its sheer double-decker vastness — with a wingspan the length of a football pitch — offers a level of style and comfort, from economy to first class, that remains unmatched.

Lufthansa currently owns eight functional A380s, having sold off six others from its previous fleet of 14. At the time, an airline executive said the chance of operating the jet from its main hub of Frankfurt again was “close to zero.”

Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr and staff. (Photo by DANIEL ROLAND/AFP/Getty Images)

Related: The Airbus A380 might be back from the dead — but for how long?

That changed when Boeing told Lufthansa that its expected delivery of 777X planes would be delayed after the plane-maker halted production of the new wide-body jet due to certification problems and weak demand.

Lufthansa, therefore, had to seek alternative arrangements. It appears to have found them, for now, in the A380. The company is currently assessing how many A380s it will reactivate and which destinations the Airbus will fly to.

The news comes as Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr apologized to employees and customers for the travel chaos caused by staff shortages in recent months.

“We certainly made mistakes while saving our company and more than 100,000 jobs over the past two years,” Spohr said in a letter to staff and reported by Reuters.

In a refreshing sign of humility, and in stark contrast to the response of many other airlines, especially in Britain, Spohr added: “Did we go too far in cutting costs here and there, under the pressure of the more than 10 billion euros [$10.5 billion] in pandemic-related losses? Certainly, that too,” he added.

Featured image by Patrick T. Fallon
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023