The Airbus A 380 is coming back

Die about-face of Lufthansa is remarkable and a sign of how unpredictable external circumstances have become. Over the past few months, the airline’s management has repeatedly confirmed that the large Airbus A380 has irrevocably left the fleet. In September 2021, the Technik und Motor editorial team was even present at the necessary training in Frankfurt before the last flight and with the Lufthansa employees said goodbye to the not exactly prettiest aircraft in the world, but perhaps the most pleasant for the passengers. Unprofitable, inefficient, four-radiators should be retired anyway, these were the arguments that were hardly made out of thin air.

Now, out of the blue, CEO Carsten Spohr is proposing the return of the A380, which not only fires the fantasies of fans but also the share price. We learn: Unprofitable and inefficient are relative. Apparently, many bookings meet a few wide-bodied aircraft, after all Lufthansa, in its distress these days, even puts several young used long-haul jets of Asian provenance into operation. How long the A380 can then stay is another question. There are more modern planes. And a counter-movement. Airbus reports the first test flight of its A321XLR, a short- and medium-haul jet that, thanks to technical upgrades, has mutated into a long-haul aircraft that can be used from Frankfurt to Calgary, for example. Basically with a cabin layout like in the Mallorca shuttle. The concept is popular, 500 orders have been placed, and regular service is scheduled for 2024. Despite all the enthusiasm for the technical achievement. We would know where we would prefer to get on long-haul routes.

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