After months of speculation sparked by a more rapid than expected recovery in demand, Lufthansa (LH, Frankfurt Int'l) has now confirmed that it will indeed reactivate an unspecified number of A380-800s in 2023.

"The company is currently checking how many A380s will take off again and which destinations the aircraft will fly to," the German holding said.

Lufthansa operated fourteen A380s before the COVID-19 pandemic. All of them are currently in deep storage at Teruel (twelve) and Lourdes/Tarbes (two) airports. The German holding sold six back to Airbus, but the remaining eight can still be reactivated. The entire sub-fleet is 10.7 years old on average, according to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module.

The airline has been struggling to secure sufficient widebody capacity as two of its three future platforms - the B787 and the B777X - are currently affected by manufacturing issues. All B787 deliveries have been on hold for nearly a year due to quality concerns, while the B777X is now unlikely to enter into service before 2025. Lufthansa Group has thirty-two B787-9s (although it is not clear to which airlines they will be assigned yet) and twenty-seven B777-9s on firm orders from Boeing. In terms of new-generation widebody aircraft, the group also has a firm order for twenty-eight A350-900s on top of 21 it already has in service.

Lufthansa announced sweeping cuts to its four-engined fleet during the early stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, at some point mothballing all types except for its A340-300s and B747-8s. It has since reactivated both its B747-400s and A340-600s.