Lufthansa Flies First Boeing 747-8 Flight To Palma De Mallorca

After months of anticipation, Lufthansa has operated its first Boeing 747-8 flight from Frankfurt (Germany) to Palma De Mallorca (Spain). The flight took place on July 17th and wasn’t operated by ‘just any’ 747-8. Indeed, lucky passengers stepped aboard D-ABYT, Lufthansa’s special retro-livery jumbo jet.

D-ABYT Lufthansa 747-8
D-ABYT is Lufthansa’s retro-livery 747-8. The aircraft is six and a half years old. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Swapping an Airbus A321 for a Boeing 747

Palma De Mallorca (PMI) is a popular tourist spot for Europeans. Germans are no exception to this, comprising one of the largest groups of foreigners in the leisure destination.

While Lufthansa would normally operate an Airbus A321 on its two-hour daily service to the Spanish island, a surge of bookings has prompted the airline to upsize its aircraft on certain days.

First announced in early June, the carrier is using some of its widebodies on higher demand days. For FRA to PMI, July 17th marked the first of a series of upsized flights with LH1152/LH1153. The ‘Queen of the Skies’ will also operate three additional weekend flights: July 24th, July 31st, and August 7th.

D-ABYT Flight
It’s fairly rare to have such a large aircraft deployed on such a short route. Photo: RadarBox.com

At the end of the month, we’re expecting to see Lufthansa deploy its Airbus A350-900 on its Munich to Palma service. This route usually fluctuates between using an Airbus A319 and Airbus A320.

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About the 747-8

Flying the first service was no ordinary 747-8. Indeed, the jumbo jet tasked with this first two-hour flight was the 747-8 registered D-ABYT- or, as Lufthansa calls it, “the Yankee-Tango.”

While the aircraft’s interior offers a seating configuration identical to the other 747-8s in Lufthansa’s fleet (eight in first, 80 business, 32 premium economy, and 244 economy seats), its exterior stands out with its special retro livery. Given the name ‘Köln,’ the jumbo jet was delivered to Lufthansa from Boeing in March of 2015- making the aircraft six and a half years old.

The flexibility to ‘rightsize’ a route

Lufthansa’s deployment of larger widebodies on routes that would otherwise use much smaller narrowbodies demonstrates one of the big advantages of fleet diversification. While this surge of bookings might force other carriers to stop taking bookings, Lufthansa has been able to adapt to this pent-up demand by swapping its Airbus A321s for a Boeing 747-8.

Indeed, the airline’s 747-8 offers 364 seats in four classes. This is a 77% boost in capacity. But it’s not just quantity. This upsizing allows the airline to offer far more premium seats- which have a higher revenue yield. And, of course, the additional classes add far more comfort to the short flight experience compared to Lufthansa’s narrowbody offerings.

Indeed, assuming Lufthansa turns on its entertainment systems for passengers, even regular economy class travelers will benefit from an IFE system otherwise absent in the airline’s normal intra-European jets.

What do you think of Lufthansa deploying its widebodies on short intra-European services? Have you been lucky enough to experience one of these flights for yourself? Share your thoughts and experiences with us by leaving a comment.

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