Lufthansa is one of the key players in European commercial aviation, and its flights play a role in keeping the continent moving. According to data from ch-aviation.com, the German flag carrier and Star Alliance founding member has 310 aircraft in its current fleet. It lists 239 of these as active, but which are the oldest?
We’ll start by looking at the airline’s oldest aircraft in terms of its sub-fleets of various models, before examining individual aircraft later on. In terms of average age, Lufthansa’s oldest aircraft are its Airbus A321-100s, which clock in with a mean figure of 27.1 years old. Another Airbus narrowbody design, namely the A310-100, also ranks highly in this regard, with an average age of 20.2 years old at Lufthansa.
When it comes to widebody aircraft, Lufthansa’s oldest aircraft type in terms of the average age of its subfleet is also an Airbus model, namely the A340-300. These quadjets are becoming rare, but Lufthansa still has 17 at its disposal, with these twin-aisle airliners clocking in with a considerable average age of 23.1 years old.
Boeing designs are something of a rarity at Lufthansa, with the US manufacturer only being represented in the widebody section of the German national airline’s fleet. Its oldest Boeing jets are its 747-400s, at 22.6 years old on average.
Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying
The oldest individual aircraft
Moving onto individual aircraft, the oldest active aircraft currently serving Lufthansa is a 29.8-year-old Airbus A320-200 registered as D-AIQS. While there is an older example registered with the German flag carrier (31.43-year-old D-AIQF), this has been taken out of service for conversion to a hydrogen aviation research lab.
D-AIQS has spent its entire career at the Lufthansa Group, having entered service with Germany’s national airline back in March 1993. From December 2013 to December 2016, it flew for Germanwings, the carrier’s former low-cost subsidiary. As of July 2022, it had amassed 62,663 hours across 48,777 flight cycles.
This represents an average of 2,119 hours across 1,649 cycles per year. Recent years have seen less usage, due to two consecutive stints of coronavirus-induced storage. Planespotters.net shows that these took place in Debrecen, Hungary (June 2020 – September 2021) and Sofia, Bulgaria (September 2021 – July 2022).
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The best of the rest
D-AIQS is just under half a year more senior than Lufthansa’s second-oldest active aircraft: a 29.3-year-old Airbus A321-100 registered as D-AIRH. The A321-100 accounts for positions two through to eight in this regard. This is perhaps to be expected, given that this model is the German flag carrier’s oldest by average age.
Rounding out the top 10, we have two more Airbus jets. The first of these is a widebody, namely a 26.58-year-old A340-300 that bears the registration D-AIGL. Meanwhile, 10th place is home to a 26.17-year-old A319-100 that flies as D-AILC. With ch-aviation showing that Lufthansa has 120 jets on order, it will be interesting to see how its fleet transitions to a more modern one in the coming years.
Did you know that some of Lufthansa’s aircraft are almost 30 years old? How many of the German flag carrier’s jets have you flown on? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments!
Sources: ch-aviation.com, Planespotters.net
- IATA/ICAO Code:
- Airline Type:
- Full Service Carrier
- Frankfurt Airport, Munich Airport
- Year Founded:
- Star Alliance
- Airline Group:
- Lufthansa Group
- Carsten Spohr