Lufthansa to re-activate A340-600 to fulfill First Class demand

German flag carrier Lufthansa has decided to reactivate five of its Airbus A340-600 aircraft which have been parked in Teruel, Spain since last year. The move comes to help fulfil the demand up front in the First class. The A340-600 is configured in four classes: First Class, Business Class, Premium Economy and Economy class. The First Class comprises eight seats on the A340-600 of Lufthansa.

As part of its strategy to save costs, the airline had parked a considerable portion of its fleet at various places across the region. This included the A380s, B747s and the A340s.

Commencing in summer 2022, the A340-600 will fly from Munich primarily to in North American and Asian destinations. The decision to reactivate these aircraft is due to growing premium demand, for business as well as leisure travel. Interestingly, the airline will also add the First Class on its A350-900 aircraft. In late summer 2023, the first Airbus A350-900, offering First Class. Before the pandemic began, the Lufthansa Airbus A340-600 fleet consisted of 17 aircraft, 12 of which are in the process of being sold. A further five aircraft are currently not for sale and will be temporarily reactivated and sold at a later date.

Lufthansa continues to invest in the modernization of its fleet. This past May, the Group purchased 10 additional state-of-the-art long-haul aircraft: five Boeing 787-900s and five A350-900s.

In October 2020, the airline moved four of its A350-900s to Frankfurt from Munich. This was to replace a few flights from the B748i to the A350s. This was part of the focus to move away from operating four engined aircraft to two engined ones to save costs.

Since July 2020, Deutsche Lufthansa AG has raised a total of around 500 million euros by using aircrafts as security in eight financing transactions. This enabled the Group to secure additional funds on top of the 1.6 billion euros raised via a convertible bond and a corporate bond.The five Airbus A350s and three aircraft from the A320 family were used as securities for various financing instruments. Funds were raised through sale and lease back financing, secured loans and secured promissory notes.

The German government had extended financial support to Lufthansa in May 2020 with a Euro 9 billion bailout package.

Fleet renewal
Lufthansa Group is investing in modernisation of its fleet. The airline decided to buy ten long-haul aircraft: five each of A350-900s and five B787-9. There have been talks of additional B787-9s being taken up by Lufthansa – potentially those which were destined for Hainan Airlines and were painted in Vistara livery by Boeing. As part of the long-standing fleet renewal program, a total of 175 new aircraft will be delivered to Lufthansa Group airlines this decade.

Network Thoughts

Travel has taken a hit in the pandemic. With passengers who are willing to pay a little more for safety, the higher space per person and distancing which the first class gives is unparalleled distancing for passengers.

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