Planes meet various fates when they enter retirement. Some are destined for a graveyard in the desert, some will be scrapped or sent to a museum. An unlikely few may end up in a hotel garden or underwater theme park.
Another option is to ‘upcycle’ the aircraft’s parts – refashioning them to give them a new lease of life.
That’s the approach Lufthansa has taken with a new product collection featuring furniture, accessories and sculptures, all made from a decommissioned A340-600.
Pieces in the range include a rucksack made from old safety cards, business class blankets and headrest covers; a coffee table made from the aircraft’s side panel; and a ‘wall bar’ made from two windows.
A clock made from the window fronts of the A340-600, of which only 20 were made, is already sold out.
“Over time there were more and more items and materials that had the old [Lufthansa] design and were no longer usable in their original form,” said Joel Bertram, the airline’s corporate designer.
“Each element and each material in the Upcycling Collection is unique and has its own story.
“During the design process, we first took inspiration from the raw materials themselves. Then, together with a number of different manufacturers that are experts in their field, we looked and said, how can we make just the right tweaks to the product so that it’s in a really finished form.”