Faced with the Covid-19 pandemic, the airline Lufthansa will ground all its Airbus A340-600 for a year to a year and a half, and should announce quickly if they will resume service one day. The group’s return flights are extended until May 17, Austrian Airlines remaining grounded until that date while Swiss will only serve New York.
After having already sent three to Teruel in Spain, the German national company confirmed on April 16, 2020 that it will store there « within two or three months » the whole of its fleet of A340-600, ie 17 planes , for a minimum duration of 12 to 16 months. Lufthansa had already announced last week its intention to definitively separate from seven A340-600 (as well as six A380 and five Boeing 747-400), within the framework of a massive restructuring which will see in total 42 planes leave the fleet of the group, out of a total of 763. The sale of the six A380s to Airbus was « already scheduled for 2022 », said the airline, the exit of the A340-600 and 747-400 having been taken « on the basis of environmental disadvantages and of these types of aircraft. »
Read Also: Air Tahiti Nui Retires Last Airbus A340
The Star Alliance company said in a statement that a decision on the future use of the A340-600, « or a possible reactivation of up to ten aircraft, » will be made later. Recall that Lufthansa Cityline also announced the withdrawal of service from these three A340-300; since 2015, the regional carrier has operated flights to long-haul tourist destinations on behalf of its parent company.
According to Aero.de, Lufthansa is also considering asking Boeing to swap the delivery slots for its Boeing 777-9 (of which it was to be the launch company initially this summer, but the first delivery will probably not take place before 2021 ), in favor of 777F more useful in these times of freight demand much higher than that of passenger transport.
Due to « persistent national and international travel restrictions », the Lufthansa Group will extend its repatriation flights until May 17 before further reducing them. Additional cancellations for the period from May 4 to May 17 are being implemented « gradually, and passengers will be informed of the changes ». Lufthansa will thus offer « a significant minimum level of air links », contributing to the provision of « basic services ».
Cinco operaciones aéreas con la llegada de tres A340 ✈✈✈ y un A320 para @TarmacAerosave en el aeropuerto de Teruel #PLATA procedentes de Alemania, este último ha vuelto a despegar con los pilotos @aeropuerteruel@TeruelAirport #EsteVirusLoParamosUnidos pic.twitter.com/U6f1M4lUuM
— Aeropuerto de Teruel, vuela la innovación (@aeropuerteruel) April 14, 2020
Given low demand, a further reduction in the flight schedule to just 15 weekly long-haul routes is « inevitable » for Lufthansa: three flights per week each from Frankfurt airport to Newark and Chicago (United States) ), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Bangkok (Thailand) and Tokyo (Japan). The three weekly rotations to Montreal (Canada) will be canceled. In addition, Lufthansa will offer up to 36 daily connections from its Frankfurt hub to « the most important cities in Germany and Europe ». From Munich, only six daily connections to German cities will be offered from May 4.
Swiss International Air Lines will also continue to offer three weekly long-haul flights per week to Newark (United States) from Zurich and Geneva, in addition to a « considerably reduced » schedule for short and medium-haul flights. letters focused on certain European cities.
Low cost Eurowings will continue to provide basic services at the airports of Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Stuttgart and Cologne with a « skeleton » program, offering German domestic flights and connections to certain European destinations.