Lufthansa Completes 12 Year Check On Airbus A380

Daniel Fowkes
20 Feb 2024
· Aircraft 
· Airlines 
For the first time, Lufthansa has completed a 12-year check on an Airbus A380 as it continues to re-enter the type into operations.

Lufthansa has announced that it completed the twelve-year check on one of its Airbus A380s for the first time in its history with the work undertaken by Lufthansa Technik Philippines (LTP) in Manila.

As part of this twelve-year check, the airline continues its efforts to reintroduce the aircraft safely back into service after an extensive period where Airbus A380s were grounded during the pandemic.

The return of the A380 to the fleets of many airlines has also boosted demand for maintenance services enormously. We are benefiting quite well from this with our A380 expertise here in Manila, that we recently even expanded with the third overhaul line. In view of the delays in the delivery of numerous new wide-body aircraft, I am certain that services for the A380 will remain an integral part of our portfolio for years to come.

Elmar Lutter, Chief Executive Officer of Lufthansa Technik Philippines.

D-AIMC was the aircraft in question that experienced the twelve-year check. Data indicates this aircraft was delivered to Lufthansa in August 2010 and stored in Frankfurt for under a year following the airline’s decision to park the jet.

Following this, the aircraft was moved to Tarbes Lourdes, a popular location for airlines looking to park aircraft, thanks to warmer weather conditions. The aircraft was parked here between January 2021 through October 2023.

The Extensive 12-Year Check

The airline says it thoroughly replaced the landing gear as part of the check. The Airbus A380s are home to five individual gear assemblies; thus, this totals 22 wheels.

Through natural wear and tear and after an extended period of flying, Lufthansa says these must be changed, especially considering they are highly stressed components.

Additionally, Lufthansa says it removed all four Rolls Royce Trent 900 engines equipped on the Airbus A380. During the twelve-year check, there are thorough structural inspections of the wings and where the engines are mounted. Interestingly, this is where the larger focus lies rather than the engines.

At its peak, 100 aircraft mechanics were working on the aircraft as part of these checks. While D-AIMC steals the show as the first to undergo such checks, the airline says it’s been quick to send another unit towards Manila to undergo similar checks, too.

Important Check For Lufthansa

Lufthansa’s decision to return the A380 to service wasn’t initially in the pipeline for the company. During the pandemic, the airline believed retiring the aircraft would make more sense and that moving forward with more efficient twin-engined aircraft would see better financial rewards.

However, despite plummeting travel demand, it returned quicker than anyone anticipated, and supply chains at key manufacturers were up against it. Lufthansa was left scrambling for capacity when the supply chains collapsed, and with the 777X entry into service delays, times were tough for the major airline.

While not necessarily ideal, the airline quickly realised that bringing these planes back on select services for the short to medium term to mitigate capacity losses was the best decision. Now, the airline is continuing that process of returning the types to service by ensuring they’re maintained to the highest standards possible.

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