Lufthansa’s New 747-8 Return Flight To China Takes 55 Hours

Despite previously reining in its 747-8 network as more efficient aircraft were available, Lufthansa is once again expanding its reach. The airline will launch flights to Nanjing with the Queen of the Skies this weekend.

Lufthansa, Boeing 747-8, Nanjing
Lufthansa is set to fly the Boeing 747-8 to Nanjing from Sunday. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

There’s no question about it. The COVID-19 crisis has affected thousands of lives around the world. However, it has also changed the aviation industry forever. One of those notable changes saw airlines from across the globe retiring the Boeing 747 from their fleets. This has made the Queen of the Skies so much harder to book a flight on for most. But one airline remains committed to the type.

Flying the jumbo jet to China

While its Boeing 747-400s may be grounded, for the time being, Lufthansa is actively flying its newer 747-8 aircraft, making it a passenger’s best bet if they want to fly on the type. The airline is now set to add another route to its 747-8 network.

Stay informed: Sign up for our daily aviation news digest.

From Sunday (December 13th), the Queen of the Skies will operate Lufthansa’s route between Frankfurt and Nanjing. The route is operating weekly, with departures leaving Frankfurt on Sundays. The route will run to the following schedule:

  • Flight LH 780 will depart from Frankfurt (FRA) at 22:20. Following a ten-hour 40 minute night flight, the aircraft will touch down at Nanjing Lukou International Airport (NKG) at 16:00 the next day.
  • The aircraft will then remain in Nanjing until Wednesday.
  • FR LH 781 will depart Nanjing at 00:35 each Wednesday. After an 11-hour, 35-minute flight, the aircraft will touch down in Frankfurt at 05:10 that morning.
Lufthansa, Boeing 747-8, Nanjing
The aircraft will fly the route once a week, with a stopover in China. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

Given the flight schedule above, each rotation of the Boeing 747-8 to Nanjing will take almost two days and seven hours. Lufthansa has 747-8 capacity free as many are grounded.

What should passengers on the 747-8 expect?

According to Lufthansa, a round trip to Nanjing starts at €1,952 for the first rotation in the economy cabin. This increases by just over double to €4,662 in business class. While the aircraft has eight first class open suites in the plane’s nose, these are not for sale.

Lufthansa, Boeing 747-8, Nanjing
Business class is the highest class of travel offered on the flights. Photo: Lufthansa

Behind the 747’s first set of doors, the business class cabin begins. This sees 80 business class flatbeds spread across two decks. On the main deck, there are six rows of 2-2-2 before you reach the second set of emergency exits and a staircase. Behind this are two rows of 2-2-2, creating a slightly more intimate mini-cabin. Up the stairs on the top deck are eight rows of business seats in 2-2.

Lufthansa, Boeing 747-8, Nanjing
On the 747-8, the premium economy cabin is sandwiched in between two economy cabins. Photo: Lufthansa

Interestingly, in a break from conventional cabin layouts, the economy cabin starts on the main deck behind business class with three and a half rows of 3-4-3 seating. Behind this are the overwing exits, and the premium economy cabin’s start with a 2-4-2 layout across four rows. After this is the remainder of the economy cabin. Unlike on the route to Sao Paulo, economy beds won’t be offered.

Lufthansa, Boeing 747-8, Nanjing
The aircraft offers 244 economy seats. Photo: Rolf Bewersdorf via Lufthansa

What do you make of Lufthansa’s new offering to Nanjing? Let us know in the comments!