Lufthansa Group to permanently retire 42 planes, cites coronavirus

Germany's Lufthansa Group, has announced that it will phase out a total of 42 aircraft across the group, mainly comprising Lufthansa aircraft. This, among other moves affecting most Lufthansa Group airlines, comes as the coronavirus crisis hits the group hard.

Lufthansa will be withdrawing 6 Airbus A380s, all of which were anyways due to be sold back to Airbus by 2022. Furthermore, the airline will remove seven A340-600s as well as 5 Boeing 747-400s. Additionally, Lufthansa Cityline will be removing 3 A340-300s from service and Eurowings will remove 10 Airbus A320s. Lufthansa itself will also retire a further 11 Airbus A320s.

This is major news, fully demonstrating the effect that coronavirus has had on airlines.

D-AIMG, a Lufthansa Airbus A380-800. Photo by Matt Lino │ AeroNewsX

As well as the measures taken above, Germanwings operations will cease. The Group had already planned to merge the carrier's operations with that of Eurowings and has now accelerated this. Operations at Austrian Airlines and Brussels Airlines are not immune to changes, with the Group having decided to 'intensify' both the airlines' restructuring programs. This includes Austrian's #Driveto25 program, with completion set for 2025 which sees the carrier's Dash 8 Q400 aircraft phased out and the incorporation of new Airbus jets. Brussels Airlines' restructuring initiative, called Reboot, which concludes in 2022, which aims to make the carrier 'structurally sustainable'.

Austrian Airlines will also be reducing its fleet numbers, however 'the extent to which this will take place has not yet finally been defined'.

While not having specified, SWISS International Airlines will be considering early phase-outs of some of its older aircraft and will delay deliveries for its new short-haul planes. Finally, the Lufthansa Group announced that it had already 'terminated almost all wet lease agreements with other airlines'.

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