Lufthansa has taken delivery of its ninth Boeing 777 freighter to be based out of its Frankfurt hub. With four 777Fs operated in partnership with AeroLogic, the airline has thirteen such aircraft ferrying cargo for its customers.
Cargo has recently taken center stage in the world of aviation. Much of the world’s cargo capacity comprises spare space in the hold of passenger aircraft. As a result, when passenger flights stopped when the shipment of medical supplies boomed, capacity fell far below demand. To cope with this, many airlines removed seats from their aircraft to make makeshift freighters.
Nine Boeing 777 freighters
With this latest aircraft delivery, the Lufthansa Cargo Boeing 777F fleet has grown to nine aircraft. These are all based at Lufthansa’s primary hub, Frankfurt. The most recent plane to join the lineup, D-ALFI, touched down in Frankfurt at 11:19 this morning. Its delivery flight lasted for 10-hours and 10-minutes, operating from Boeing’s Everett plant as LH8145.
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Lufthansa likes to give its aircraft names. For example, one of the airline’s A340-300s is named Gießen after the town about an hour north of Frankfurt. D-ALFI has been named ¡Buenos días México! (Good morning Mexico!). Previously an MD-11 held the name. However, this aircraft was transferred to FedEx in March.
Commenting on the latest delivery, Peter Gerber, CEO, and Chairman of the Executive Board of Lufthansa Cargo said,
“Especially in acute crises, air cargo secures important supply routes and thus makes a fundamental contribution to the global economy. Mastering short-term global challenges is one of our core competencies, countering long-term global challenges is our responsibility. With our new fleet we are underlining our claim to actively and sustainably combine economic and ecological efficiency.”
Freight at Frankfurt
While passenger movements have seriously plummeted at Frankfurt Airport, the level of freight moving through the airport has only dropped slightly. This was in stark contrast to the situation at London Heathrow. Frankfurt’s freight levels remained relatively constant, as it has several large areas dedicated to freight handling.
Due to the incoming freight, Frankfurt became Europe’s busiest airport by aircraft movements at the height of the crisis. Of course, a fair amount of this freight would’ve been moved by the German flag carrier’s fleet. Alongside dedicating passenger aircraft to carry cargo, the German giant also held off retiring its outgoing MD-11 fleet on schedule.
Six remain in service. However, it is finally time for them to lose their Lufthansa uniform. Lufthansa’s remaining MD-11s will be retired over the coming months, with at least half of the fleet leaving by the new year. According to Lufthansa Cargo, the MD-11 entered its fleet in 1998 and allowed it to retire its Boeing 747 freighters by 2005.
Have you seen Lufthansa’s newest addition yet? What do you make of its name? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.