With its reputation damaged after the absence of new orders and the consequent announcement of the end of its production, the A380 aircraft was also hit by the coronavirus outbreak that afflicts the world. Airlines Lufthansa and Qantas will temporarily ground their Airbus jet fleet due to falling passenger demand.

The German group, which announced that it will reduce its capacity by 50% in the coming weeks, is expected to withdraw its 14 A380s at least until May, says an internal document quoted by the AeroTelegraph website. The aircraft will be stationed in Frankfurt and Munich, their hubs in Germany until demand returns to normal.

Australian Qantas has officially confirmed that it will land eight of its 12 A380s by September. Of the remaining four, only two will remain in service as the other two are undergoing scheduled maintenance and upgrading the passenger cabin. The airline said its international flight network capacity will be reduced by 23%, mostly on routes in Asia and the Pacific.

Large capacity, high cost

The outlook for the A380 has worsened due to its great capacity to carry passengers. At Lufthansa, the Airbus aircraft can receive up to 509 people and at Qantas, up to 485 passengers.

In times of cancellations and rebooking, the massive plane has become even more expendable, especially since its operating cost is high and is only justified on routes with high demand.

The example of the two airlines can be followed by the other 12 A380 operators if passenger traffic on international flights continues to regress due to the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic in yet more bad news for the gigantic plane.

Qantas A380 (Brian/Wikimedia)