Lufthansa’s First Reactivated Airbus A380 Is On Its Way To Manila
Over a month of heavy maintenance awaits the jet before it re-enters service.
Lufthansa first reactivated Airbus A380 has taken off from Frankfurt ahead of a 13-hour flight to the Philippines. The aircraft is currently heading to Manila, where it will be restored before re-entering service in the summer.
D-AIMK gearing up for return
The Lufthansa Airbus A380 (registration: D-AIMK) took off from Frankfurt Airport (FRA) at 06:44 on Sunday, January 29th – special flight LH9922 will arrive at Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL) in the early hours of Monday morning after a 13-hour journey.
D-AIMK is one of 14 Airbus A380s in Lufthansa’s fleet – the A380 was placed in storage at Teruel Airport (TEV) during the early months of the COVID pandemic where it remained for almost two-and-a-half years before flying to Frankfurt on December 2nd, 2022 – on that occasion, the plane had to fly at a slower speed and lower altitude as it could not retract its landing gear after years of storage.
The nine-year-old A380, given the name “Düsseldorf”, was delivered to Lufthansa in March 2014 as the 11th of its 14 A380s and had been active on both North American and Asian routes before the pandemic broke out.
Maintenance in Manila
The A380 will receive over 30 days of heavy maintenance in Manila ahead of its re-entry to service this summer – Lufthansa has clarified that there won’t be any changes to the plane’s interior, so travelers can expect the same four-class layout featuring eight first class suites, 78 business class, 52 premium economy and 371 economy seats.
Photo: Lufthansa Technik
The German airline group’s maintenance and technical subsidiary, Lufthansa Technik, opened another Airbus A380 maintenance hangar in Manila last August, adding another three maintenance lines to the existing seven and upping its capacity by around 20%.
What next for Lufthansa’s A380s?
The airline had initially claimed it would reactivate “four or five” of the double-deckers, although it has since committed to withdrawing “at least” three Airbus A380s from storage. The majority of Lufthansa’s A380s have been in storage at Teruel, the high-altitude Spanish airport ideally suited to long-term aircraft storage – only one A380, D-AIMK, has actually left Teruel since the pandemic.
Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying
Before the airline can operate its A380s commercially, it plans to complete up to 60 training flights in May from Hannover (HAJ), Leipzig (LEJ), and Dresden (DRS). As Simple Flying revealed last week, Lufthansa’s tentative Airbus A380 plans will see the planes serve New York (JFK), Boston (BOS), and Los Angeles (LAX) from its Munich hub. As for which plane will be reactivated next, D-AIMM, an eight-year-old A380, is earmarked to follow D-AIMK to Manila next month, followed by D-AIML.
Are you happy to see Lufthansa’s first reactivated Airbus A380 preparing for a full return? Let us know in the comments.
- IATA/ICAO Code:
- Airline Type:
- Full Service Carrier
- Frankfurt Airport, Munich Airport
- Year Founded:
- Star Alliance
- Airline Group:
- Lufthansa Group
- Carsten Spohr
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