The A380 has been making news over the past few months, but not in a positive manner.
Rumors have been swirling around Toulouse that the A380 program is on life support, and only being kept alive by a faint chance that a single airline can save it from the scrap pile. To rekindle said rumors, Airbus once again stated on Monday (January 15) that the A380 program is at risk unless substantial orders come in. Airbus’ Chief Operating Officer, John Leahy, spelled it out very succinctly: “If we cannot work out a deal with Emirates, I think there is no choice but to shut down the program”.
Emirates and their decision whether or not to order additional A380s will either allow the program to limp along for a few more years or begin it’s immediate descent into obscurity. Expectations had been for Emirates to place a substantial order in 2017, but that never happened, thus the A380 program is now in perilous peril (for you Holy Grail fans out there). Either way, the A380 program seems doomed, whether now or in a few years.
Emirates had the chance to step up during air shows in 2017 when large orders are typically announced. It’s good publicity for both Emriates and Airbus to make such splashy announcements. However with no A380 announcements at any airshows, it doesn’t take a genius to read between the lines that either 1) Emirates is tired of the A380 and is looking towards a 2-engine replacement in the 777x, or 2) Emirates is squeezing Airbus into some ridiculously attractive discounts since Emirates is the one that has all leverage at this point.
Either is plausible, but I think option 1 might be what is playing out here.
If memory serves, Airbus had predicted a healthy market for over 1,100 A380s to fill the sky but since the types inception in 2005 only a few over 200 have ever been delivered. 95 are still in queue for being built, with most of those going to Emirates and a few to leasing agent Amedeo. Not good when the existence of the entire A380 line hinges on one carrier.
Lufthansa has updated their timetable to reflect the deployment of the A380 to additional destinations from Munich beginning with the Winter 2018/19 timetable.
With their latest update, they’ve added Miami, Shanghai, and San Francisco to the list. These destinations will begin seeing the A380 fly from Munich on October 28, 2018.
Earlier this summer, LH announced that the A380 would begin flying from Munich to Los Angeles, Beijing, and Hong Kong beginning with the Spring/Summer 2018 timetable.
A major reason for this transition is due to the fact that Lufthansa continues to retire their A340 fleet, which is primarily based in Munich. With this vacuum in capacity, the A380 was the viable option to take the A340’s place.
For those of you who are members of Miles & More (MM) and are scheduled to fly in Economy class aboard an A380 between now and January 31, you’ll want to pay attention!
Since October 29, and running through January 31, ‘MM’ members can register for a special Airbus/Lufthansa promo that will give you twice the award miles that you normally would earn on your ticket. The promo states that you’ll earn miles based on your crediting rate for your fare class. The multiplier does not apply to your ‘Executive bonus’ that you earn if you are a Frequent Traveler, Senator, or HON Circle member. You’ll still get your Executive Bonus but those miles do not get the 2x multiplier that this promo offers.
It’s a good deal considering that if you’re flying aboard an A380 you’re flying a fairly long way so the miles credit will be substantial! As of now, LH sends the A380 from Frankfurt to Bangkok, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Delhi, San Francisco, Shanghai, and Singapore.
The deal applies to bookings made by December 31, 2017. You must register in order to qualify and it covers flights taken through January 31. The promo limits your participation to 8 A380 segments during the bonus period.
Simply visit the LH Promo webpage for the deal to enroll. You’ll be asked to log into your MM account so have that info ready.
I’m not sure if the credit will apply if you have already flown aboard an A380 since October 29 and haven’t registered for this, but you should still register since miles won’t be credited until 8 weeks after you complete your flight. You might catch a break and get the miles for flights you’ve already taken.