Airlines across the world are grounding the Airbus A380.
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With the global situation continuing to persist, airlines are forced to reduce capacity. If airlines need to reduce capacity, they’ll ground their largest capacity aircraft - the Airbus A380.
Lufthansa has internally confirmed it will ground its fleet of 14 Airbus A380s. A few days ago, Lufthansa announced it would reduce its capacity by 50% due to falling demand from COVID-19.
In addition to that announcement, Lufthansa announced it was considering grounding its entire A380 fleet, which has now gone through.
Lufthansa will temporarily ground its fleet of Airbus A380s until May, and possibly into June. Lufthansa will make arrangements with employees regarding this grounding.
Lufthansa’s message to employees stated the average load factor on Lufthansa’s A380s was 35%, or around 178 out of 509 seats filled.
Even before this announcement, some of Lufthansa’s A380s such as D-AIMC and D-AIMF haven’t been flying for well over a week.
Lufthansa isn’t the first carrier to temporarily ground its A380 fleet. China Southern, based in Guangzhou 500 miles from the heart of the outbreak, has grounded its fleet of 5 A380s since mid-February.
Emirates has also stored some A380s at Dubai World Central Airport (DWC). However, some A380s such as A6-EDX, A6-EDN, A6-EOX, and more have already returned to service.
With the situation worsening in areas such as South Korea, Airbus A380 operators Asiana and Korean Air are seeing a reduced amount of flying with their A380s.
For example, one of Korean Air’s A380s, HL7614, has only flown once in the past week on a Seoul to Paris round trip flight.
One of Asiana’s A380s, HL7626, hasn’t flown in over a week while other Asiana A380s are seeing some reduced utilization.
Update 3/10/20: Korean Air grounds all 10 A380s.
Unfortunately, with falling demand this may force airlines to retire their A380 aircraft early. So far, Singapore Airlines and Air France were the first carriers to retire some A380s from their fleets before the crisis began.
All images per their respective airline.
What are your thoughts? Is anyone planning on flying the A380 in coming months?