Lufthansa A380
FILE PHOTO: A Lufthansa Airbus 380 approaches Frankfurt airport July 12, 2013. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

Lufthansa has announced they will be returning the A380 to service, only two years after retiring their fleet.

“King of the Skies” Returns

This week, German carrier Lufthansa announced they would bring the A380 back into service, close to two years after they declared the aircraft “permanently decommissioned”.

Dubbed “The King of the Skies” the A380 is the largest passenger plane ever produced. Lufthansa’s version can carry 509 passengers, but the aircraft is capable of carrying up to 853 passengers in an all-economy configuration.

Lufthansa A380
Lufthansa A380 | © Lufthansa

Lufthansa announced they would be taking the plane out of service in 2020, in favour of newer, more cost-effective aircraft such as the A350 and Boeing 777. The A380’s size was ultimately its downfall. The superjumbo was only profitable to fly with a high load factor, as the aircraft’s four engine consume vast amounts of fuel. These were just a few of the reasons the aircraft were “permanently decommissioned” by Lufthansa and put into deep storage.

Airbus ceased manufacture of the A380 in 2021, by which time many airlines had retired their fleets of A380s. 254 of the sky giants were made over the course of production, with just under half being bought by Emirates Airlines. The jet is so large, that only a handful of airports across the globe are big enough to cater for it. The A380’s wingspan was close to almost three 737’s side-to-side, requiring airport gates to be modified to accept it.

Lufthansa A380s at Teruel Airport
Lufthansa A380s at Teruel Airport | © David Ramos / Getty

Lufthansa say that “steep rise in customer demand and the delayed delivery of ordered aircraft.” have driven them to pull the A380 out of deep storage. The airline hasn’t disclosed how many of its A380s will be returned to service. The German carrier sold six of the jets in recent years, and has a further eight being kept in storage facilities in Spain and France.

For a deeper dive into why airlines chose to fly the A380 (or don’t!) check our analysis here.

Are you excited to see the “King of the Skies” return? Let us know in the comments below!


  1. The A380 is the best aircraft I have ever travelled on and very quiet sorrow to see it go out of service


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