Lufthansa is to begin ferrying Boeing 747s to a scrapyard in The Netherlands. The aircraft are being retired ahead of schedule as a direct result of the current downturn in the aviation industry.
2020 will be a transformative year for aviation. Predictions at the start of the year appeared to indicate a healthy future for the industry. However, all this changed in mid-March when the aviation industry was brought to its knees by the current pandemic.
Now, as a result of the current situation, airlines are looking to retire aircraft early in reaction to the expected future. Indeed, today Delta’s last MD-88 and MD-90 flights will take place.
Five Boeing 747s bound for retirement
The current crisis has walloped the Lufthansa Group. However, unlike some airlines, the German flag carrier has been very upfront about its future flight plans. Indeed, back in April, it was announced that the airline would immediately decommission 18 aircraft permanently. This consisted of six A380s, seven A340-600s, and five 747-400s.
According to Aero.de, Lufthansa is now getting ready to send its first retired Boeing 747-400s to their final destination. The publication reports that Lufthansa will be sending its oldest Boeing 747, D-ABVO, and youngest 747-400, D-ABTL, to be scrapped.
The two jumbo jets are due to fly to Aircraft End-Of-Life Solutions in the Netherlands to be dismantled. The company is located at Twente Airport in Enschede, with both 747s scheduled to fly out there later this week. This will leave three more 747-400s due to be retired.
Not the end of the line for Lufthansa Boeing 747s
The immediate retirement of five Boeing 747s doesn’t mean that Lufthansa intends to ditch the queen any time soon. The airline has already made plans for the remainder of its 747 fleets to be based at Frankfurt alongside the new Boeing 777X once delivered.
The airline additionally has 19 Boeing 747-8s with an average age of 6.6 years. While Lufthansa has retired half of its slightly older Airbus A380 fleet, it is almost impossible to see the airline altogether ditching the new 747-8s.
What would perhaps be more likely is the retirement of the Airbus A340-600 fleet. While Lufthansa has so far only condemned seven of its 17 A340-600s, 16 of these aircraft are now in long-term storage at a Spanish Aircraft graveyard. If Lufthansa were to get rid of further aircraft, these would be an obvious choice, as they are already at a location where they could be scrapped.
Lufthansa’s retired Airbus A380s are also currently being held at the same location in Spain, alongside some retired Air France Airbus A380s.
Simple Flying has contacted Lufthansa for comment regarding this story.
Will you be sad to see Lufthansa retiring the queen of the skies? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!