Lufthansa (LH, Frankfurt Int'l) is unlikely to ever reactivate its fourteen mothballed A380-800s and will instead boost its medium-size widebody fleet with at least some of its twenty ordered B787-9s, Chief Executive Carsten Spohr said during a presentation of the company's annual results.

"At Lufthansa German Airlines, fourteen A380-800s and ten A340-600s, among others, have been permanently decommissioned," he said.

The group's annual financial report lists six Airbus double-deckers as "scheduled for retirement" and the remaining eight just as "temporarily decommissioned". Spohr, however, clarified that from today's perspective, there was no chance that the latter would ever be reactivated.

In the annual report, the group detailed that the distinction was mostly due to the fact that the six aircraft will be sold back to Airbus in 2022 and 2023. Lufthansa announced the transaction in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The A340-600 sub-fleets and the eight A380s remaining after the agreed sale of six aircraft in 2022 and 2023 have been fully decommissioned for several years," Lufthansa Group said in the report.

Spohr added that going forward, the group will focus on smaller widebody aircraft, which are better suited to the expected low-demand environment. As such, he confirmed that at least some of the twenty B787-9s the group has on firm order from Boeing will go to Lufthansa. The group has thus far declined to comment on the eventual operators of the aircraft.

He underlined that the final decision regarding the entire 20 has not been taken yet. The aircraft are due to deliver between 2022 and 2025. On top of the 20 firm-ordered units, Lufthansa holds options for another 20.

The group reported a net loss of EUR6.7 billion euros (USD8 billion) in 2020 and a 63% drop in total revenue, caused by a 75% drop in passenger numbers. Lufthansa itself posted an EBIT loss of EUR4.7 billion (USD5.6 billion), while its subsidiary airlines Swiss, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, and Eurowings recorded EBIT losses of EUR695 million (USD828 million), EUR381 million (USD454 million), EUR332 million (USD396 million), and EUR802 million (USD956 million), respectively.

The only beacon of hope in an otherwise dismal year was the outstanding performance of Lufthansa Cargo, which posted an EBIT profit of EUR717 million (EUR854 million), despite a 36% drop in total freight capacity brought on by a lack of bellyhold capacity resulting from cuts in passenger flights. Lufthansa Cargo compensated for the loss with much higher demand and yield for its full-freighter operations.

The German carrier said that despite the massive losses, its financial situation was stable thanks to a mix of market financing and government aid. Lufthansa itself drew down EUR3.3 billion (USD3.9 billion) from its allotted state aid, less than a third of the total amount. EUR1 billion (USD1.2 billion) has already been repaid thanks to capital raised through a bond placement.

"The Lufthansa Group is well-financed beyond 2021. This is also helped by the previously unused elements of the stabilization package, which we can draw on as needed to further strengthen our balance sheet," Chief Financial Officer Remco Steenbergen said.

Going forward, the group will consider selling non-essential subsidiaries that are only loosely aligned to its core business. No specifics were given.

In its own press release, Swiss said that it was considering further changes in response to renewed travel restrictions in early 2021.

"It is now abundantly clear that the entire airline industry will undergo a tangible structural change. As a result, we at SWISS will also have to consider a more radical resizing than we have envisaged to date," Chief Executive Dieter Vranckx said. While he suggested potential fleet and network cuts, he also underlined that no decisions have been taken just yet.

Swiss plans to reduce its headcount by a further 1,000 positions through the end of the year through a combination of natural attrition, early retirements and new part-time working arrangements. Lufthansa said that in Germany, it would trim around 10,000 positions this year. Austrian Airlines and Brussels Airlines, while stressing the cataclysmic market situation in which the whole industry has found itself, did not announce any further cuts in their respective annual wrap-ups.