The first Lufthansa Airbus A380 to wear the airline’s new colors has emerged from the paint shop, marking a historic moment for the airline as its largest aircraft can now display the airline’s new image across the world. Lufthansa debuted the new livery earlier this year as part of a company-wide rebranding aimed at distinguishing the airline as a premium carrier, differentiating itself from low-cost airlines, including those in the Lufthansa Group.
— Lufthansa News (@lufthansaNews) December 7, 2018
The previous blue and yellow Lufthansa livery was introduced in the 1980s and with the 100-year anniversary of the famous Lufthansa crane coming up, the airline decided a rebranding was in order. Since February, Lufthansa has been repainting its fleet at a steady rate, with only the airline’s A319 aircraft yet to receive the new colors as the one-year anniversary of the rebranding approaching in two months.
The A380, registration D-AIMD, flew to Guangzhou, China on Oct. 29 from Munich, according to Flight Aware, for its scheduled maintenance check and repainting to be performed by Guangzhou Aircraft Maintenance Engineering (GAMECO). Lufthansa Technik outsources A380 C-check and paint jobs to GAMECO as part of an agreement inked in May, as FlightGlobal reported, with D-AIMD being the first A380 to be serviced by the Chinese company.
This particular double-decker aircraft is nearing 9 years old with the airline, having been delivered to Lufthansa from Airbus in October 2010. The aircraft, named Tokio, was the fourth A380 to be delivered to the German carrier, as indicated by the last letter of its registration. All Lufthansa A380 registrations begin with “D-AIM,” with the final letter indicated the order of delivery, “A” being the first and “Z” being the last. Lufthansa expects the aircraft to be back in service next week.
The A380 receiving its paint now is in line with what Lufthansa confirmed at the press conference announcing the new livery in February when AirlineGeeks asked the date of the first A380 repainting and was told December. Lufthansa plans to repaint its aircraft on a passive basis, giving them their new colors when they go in for routine paintings, typically occurring every seven years, in order to reduce the environmental impact and cost of the endeavor.
The first aircraft to receive the paint back in February were a Boeing 747-8i and Airbus A321, registration D-ABYA and D-AISP, respectively. After flying home to Frankfurt following its repainting, the Boeing 747 flew a special flight around Germany, visiting its major airports to debut the livery with only Lufthansa employees onboard.
Following the employee flight, D-ABYA flew its first transatlantic crossing with its new colors as LH 400 on the airline’s flagship route from Frankfurt to New York, with AirlineGeeks onboard. In typical German fashion, signage at Frankfurt Airport had already been changed to reflect the new branding and tickets were distributed in their new designs.
Lufthansa estimates that its entire fleet will be repainted within the next five years.