Lufthansa parks entire A380 fleet due to sharp decline in demand

Mar 8, 2020

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Lufthansa, Germany’s flag carrier and Europe’s largest legacy airline, has decided to temporarily ground its fleet of 14 Airbus A380s due to a sharp decline in bookings since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

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According to an internal memo, the airline is only seeing a load factor of about 35% on its largest aircraft, a grim number that illustrates just how severe the drop in demand for air travel has been.

The superjumbos will be parked at least through the end of May, and will remain at the airline’s hubs in Frankfurt (FRA) and Munich (MUC). Lufthansa’s A380s have a total capacity of over 500 seats in a four-class configuration: first, business, premium economy and economy. Before the outbreak worsened in Europe, the airline flew the jets to Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA) and San Francisco (SFO) in the U.S.

The decision to ground the carrier’s largest aircraft comes just after it announced that it would be reducing its capacity by as much as 50% due to the drastic decline in demand. It’s also planning to implement cost-saving measures to help the airline weather the storm of bad news that the entire industry is facing at the moment.

Related: Coronavirus flight waivers and changes

It’s not just Lufthansa that’s taking action to mitigate the fallout from the spread of the coronavirus. U.S. airlines have reduced and/or suspended service to areas that are centers of the disease’s outbreak including mainland China, South Korea, Japan and Italy.

And yesterday, Cabo Verde Airlines became the first foreign carrier to suspend service to the U.S. as a result of the worsening outbreak of the coronavirus.

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