The announcement earlier this week that Lufthansa will bring some, or possibly all, its A380s back into service by next summer’s schedule means that over half the world’s fleet have been returned to service following the trauma of the last two years.
Always beloved by passengers, if not by accountants, some airlines, notably British Airways have been bullish returning their entire fleet as traffic demand has surged. Others have remained reticent but nevertheless appear to the priming their fleets for a comeback.
The key player in the mix is, of course Emirates who have 89 aircraft back in service and while they have retired two aircraft and have two more ‘inactive’ 33 remain in storage primed for a return to operation. It’s worth noting that EK’s Chairman Emeritus Sir Tim Clark said recently that he believes that for operations on ‘fat routes’ between slot constrained airports “it is hard to see how aircraft like the A350-1000 will cope with demand”. This of course, mirrors the philosophy put forward by Airbus when the type was in development. It is hard to deny the logic of the argument.
Meanwhile, adherents of the big twin lobby have advanced the idea that growth will be sustained and demand satisfied through expansion point-to-point hub bypass services.
Time will tell which argument carries the day but for now at least rumours of the A380s demise appear premature.