250 square meters of aluminum cladding, 3791 headrest covers, 1814 business-class ceilings and 128 aircraft windows: what was once part of a proud A340, the longest passenger aircraft of its era 18 years ago, is now being spoiled after being decommissioned. Lufthansa has recognized the trend of the times and makes upcycling – wall bars, small tables and key chains are made from aircraft, which turns textile components into bags. The idea originated at Miles & More GmbH, which is also the supplier of the collection, which is offered through Lufthansa Worldshop.
If a part has no recognizable value, it is called a sculpture. Screw on a tag that reads from where it comes from (A340-600, LH D-AIHO, MSN 767) and sells it as a sculpture – like the 40-centimeter-high white fuselage parts that are sold in the airline's online shop Concrete bases are offered for 169 euros. If you processed the entire fuselage skin to sculptures, you come so purely arithmetically to around four million euros and has ever brought back a bit of the purchase value. (For comparison: today's list prices for new passenger aircraft at Airbus start at around 77 million euros for an A318.)
However, there is more in it. The (quickly sold out) Wandbar from two aircraft windows cost 1222 euros, the dynamic-looking wing coffee table beats at 2999 euros. However, Lufthansa is not the only supplier on the aircraft furniture market. The company Private Wing, for example, had already years ago embarked on historic aircraft and built wings around to huge conference tables (cost: just under 8,000 euros); The Bordbar company specializes in letting the hospitality trolleys land out of the cabin in living rooms or offices, be it as a bar cabinet, rolling doctor's bag or toy box.
Julian Schneider is managing director of Wilco Design, which operates the online shop Flugzeugmöbel.de. Bar cabinets from aircraft windows are also popular with its customers: "This is an original, which the customer understands quickly, because he knows the form of air travel well and has a reference to it." In the raw material plane, he sees a big advantage: "The design is already suggested by the aircraft itself, we strive to preserve the character and put the appropriate aircraft part in a new context." It is good that there are several providers: "Everyone has their own style.The industry is very small, everyone knows each other and with simple imitations makes you no friends." On request, he even produces hot tubs from turbine outlets – shape and size are ideal.
Germans want Lufthansa, British British Airways
There is no shortage of supplies. "Currently there are enough aircraft on the recovery market that have reached the end of their lifecycle after just ten years, and now there are much more effective aircraft on the market, and a leasing company wants an airline to operate a modern fleet," says Schneider.
Lufthansa's A340 was also in service for only ten years – between 2006 and 2016. It is important for furniture customers to have a national relationship: "In Germany, aircraft parts that were once used by Lufthansa, Condor or Germanwings sell above average in the UK if such parts tend to be less, British Airways are more likely. "
Upcycling has yet another advantage for airlines: Finally, Lufthansa can also promote its own products with slogans such as "sustainability in its most beautiful form".