One-fifth of Lufthansa’s Boeing 747 operations this month will use the older Boeing 747-400 according to the airline’s schedule data. The German flag carrier brought back the aging jumbo jets late last year, breaking a pattern set by many of the type’s operators after the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many airlines, including Lufthansa rivals British Airways and KLM, used the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to retire their Boeing 747 fleet early. One airline stood by both the newer Boeing 747-8 and the last generations Boeing 747-400. While its fleet may be slightly smaller now, Lufthansa is operating both types of the giant of the skies.
One-fifth of 747 operations
Based out of Lufthansa’s primary hub at Frankfurt International Airport, Lufthansa has 155 one-way Boeing 747-400 flights planned during January according to schedule data from aviation data experts Cirium. With a further 607 Boeing 747-8 flights planned, this accounts for 20% of all flights scheduled to use the Queen of the Skies.
Just six routes are scheduled to be flown with Lufthansa’s older Boeing 747 model during the month. Dubai (DXB) will receive a daily service with the Lufthansa 747-400. With the double daily Emirates A380 service in the opposite direction, it remains the only route simultaneously operated by both the Boeing 747 and Airbus A380.
Alongside the flights to Dubai, the Boeing 747-400 is also scheduled for 13 rotations to Seoul Incheon (ICN) and 12 more to New York’s JFK Airport. Ten rotations will leave Frankfurt for Delhi (DEL), while seven more will fly to Rio De Janeiro.
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Interestingly, the Boeing 747-400 is still used for a triangle flight to China. Once a week on Tuesdays, the type is scheduled to fly from Frankfurt to Shenyang. It then positions across to Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) on Thursdays before returning to Frankfurt with passengers on Saturdays. A Lufthansa Spokesperson told Simple Flying that these flights are being operated due to restrictions placed on Beijing arrivals by the Chinese authorities.
How does this compare to the Boeing 747-8?
According to data from ch-aviation.com, five of Lufthansa’s eight Boeing 747-400 aircraft are listed as active. This compares to 17 out of 19 Boeing 747-8s. With more -8s in the fleet and more active, it will be no surprise that the newer -8s are responsible for more of the Lufthansa Jumbo Jet schedule.
This is instantly apparent in the number of daily services using the 747-8 as reported by Cirium. While there is only one daily service with the -400, the newer jumbo model has six daily routes (Sao Paulo, Johannesburg, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Miami, Chicago), with another three routes having almost daily services (San Francisco, Newark, Buenos Aires).
While Delhi has ten -400 flights planned, it has an additional 12 Boeing 747-8 flights on the schedule. Meanwhile, Bengaluru (BLR) and Shanghai (PVG) have nine scheduled rotations each with the younger Queen of the Skies.
Have you flown on the Boeing 747-400 since its return? Let us know in the comments below!