Lufthansa To Temporarily Replace 747-8s With The A350 In Frankfurt

Lufthansa is to base four of its Airbus A350-900 fleet at its Frankfurt home this winter. The aircraft will stand in for the Boeing 747-8 and Airbus A340-300 on selected routes. Typically, Lufthansa only operates the A350 from its secondary Munich hub.

Lufthansa, Airbus A350, Frankfurt
Lufthansa is to base four of its Airbus A350-900 aircraft in Frankfurt this winter. Photo: Lufthansa

Airlines across Europe are deep in the process of resuming operations amid the worst crisis to ever affect the aviation industry. The challenge is to restore services in line with demand, which has proven to be a delicate balancing act. To meet the unusual needs, some airlines have had to alter their typical schedules.

A350s based in Frankfurt

Lufthansa today announced that it would be basing four of its fleet of Airbus A350-900 aircraft at Frankfurt Airport. The aircraft will remain at Lufthansa’s home until the end of the winter IATA schedule, which runs through to March 2021. By why is Lufthansa bringing Airbus’ latest new aircraft design to Frankfurt?

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Quite simply, the Airbus A350 is heading to the home of the European Central Bank to act as a replacement for other aircraft types. Firstly, the aircraft will operate in the place of the Boeing 747-8 to Chicago and Los Angeles for the coming months.

Lufthansa, Airbus A350, Frankfurt
The A350 will replace the 747-8 to Los Angeles and Chicago. Photo: Tim Stake via Lufthansa

However, the aircraft will be flying to the east of Frankfurt too. From December, Lufthansa will substitute the Airbus A340-300 on its route to Tokyo’s Haneda airport. The one problem that the German flag carrier has is that all of its A350 pilots and cabin crew are based in Munich. These employees will be operating the flights from Frankfurt.

A win-win for Lufthansa

Using the Airbus A350-900 from Frankfurt appears to be a win-win for Lufthansa. Due to its reduced schedule during the winter 20/21 timetable, the German airline is only planning to use seven of its 16 A350s for flights from Munich. This leaves nine sitting on the ground.

By utilizing four of these from Frankfurt, the airline can increase its fuel efficiency. Lufthansa says that the A350-900 uses 12% less fuel than the Boeing 747-8. A reduction in CO2 emissions accompanies this. There is likely to be an even more significant increase in fuel efficiency than the A340-300 given the new engine and aerodynamics technologies.

Lufthansa, Airbus A350, Frankfurt
The A350 uses about 12% less fuel than the Boeing 747-8. Photo: Lufthansa

This means that Lufthansa secures two wins. Firstly, the airline is emitting less CO2 into the atmosphere while conducting the same flight. However, from the fuel usage standpoint, it also means that the airline is paying less to fuel its aircraft.

Given the current situation, Lufthansa, alongside airlines worldwide, is looking to cut costs where they can to help weather the crisis. Lufthansa earlier this year received a €9 billion ($10.6 billion) bailout from the German Government.

Are you excited to see the German flag carrier base Airbus A350s at its Frankfurt home? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!