Another A380 Leaves Hong Kong: Lufthansa Switches Munich-Hong Kong Flight To A350

I’m sure every single airline operating the A380 has operated it to Hong Kong at some point. Many airlines such as Korean Air, Malaysia Airlines, Air France, China Southern and Qantas operated A380s to Hong Kong at one point, and no longer do. That being said, more than half of the current A380 operators still operate flights to Hong Kong, and Lufthansa is currently no exception.

I flew Lufthansa’s A380 business class from Frankfurt to Hong Kong in 2017. The Frankfurt to Hong Kong flight is no longer operated by an A380, as Lufthansa switched the A380 over to the Munich-Hong Kong route due to conflicts with Frankfurt Airport. As of April 2019, Lufthansa still operates the A380 from Munich Airport to Hong Kong.

img_5487Lufthansa Airbus A380 Business Class Cabin

Unfortunately as of January 1, 2020, this is about to change, as Lufthansa will switch back to operating the A350 from Munich Airport.

This is part of a huge aircraft switcheroo reported this morning by Flightradar24, where it seems like the Munich-Shanghai route will switch from an A340 to an A350, and by January 2020, an A380.

From a passenger standpoint there isn’t much of a change if you’re flying economy, premium economy, or business class, apart from the fact that economy flyers will receive a marginally newer seat. The biggest changes are that the intimate four-row economy class at the back of the upper deck will (obviously) be eliminated, and business class passengers will no longer receive storage bins.

img_5494Lufthansa Airbus A380 Economy Class

Lufthansa Airbus A350 Economy Class

The biggest and most obvious change is that first class will be eliminated on the route, so if you’re booked in first class from Munich to Hong Kong for a flight operating in 2020, I have some bad news for you.

img_5613Lufthansa Airbus A380 First Class Cabin

The good news is that the Frankfurt-Hong Kong route will continue to be operated by an A340, which does have first class. You’ll probably be rebooked on that flight, which features the same seat, save the side storage bins and the lack of a urinal in the bathroom (tragedy).

img_5620Lufthansa Airbus A380 First Class Lavatory

Bottom Line

At the end of the day, the switch from an A380 to an A350 is insignificant for the majority of flyers. Lufthansa configures both the A380 and A350 with some of the worst business class seats of any airline operating these aircraft, which is a testament to how competent the airline is when configuring these prestigious planes (5-star? LOL, what world are we living in?). That being said, the A380 does bear a unique sense of prestige, which will be lost during the switch to the A350. If you’re in first class, you’ll probably be rebooked on the A340 from Frankfurt – it’s a downgrade, but not a significant one, since the seat itself is the same.

This is not the first A380 to leave Hong Kong. Ceteris paribus, five airlines will continue operating the A380 to Hong Kong – Asiana, British Airways, Emirates, Qantas and Singapore Airlines, out of 11 who have operated A380s to Hong Kong at some point. Yes, Lufthansa’s pulling of the A380 will mark that fact that more than half of airlines who have operated A380s to Hong Kong at some point no longer do. There’s no guarantee that they won’t put the A380 back on the route for a bit, however.

Since Lufthansa has competitive fares out of London, I’ll probably be compelled to sample their A350 premium economy product at some point (though not this Christmas, since I’ve booked myself a slightly better seat on a slightly better airline). 😉

Are you sad to see another A380 leave Hong Kong?

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