Jumbo Return: Lufthansa Planning Many 747 Routes From October

Lufthansa is the world’s biggest user of the passenger Boeing 747. It has both the B747-400 and B747-8. Its iconic B747-400s are due to resume service from October 31st with 10 routes, joined by another in March. Its B747-8s, meanwhile, are expected to fly to 16 destinations at the end of October. But will things pan out?

Lufthansa B747-8
Lufthansa has scheduled 26 departures by the B747-8 and B747-400 from Frankfurt on October 31st. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.

October 31st is key for Lufthansa’s B747-400s

Lufthansa has eight Boeing 747-400s (code: 744) with an average age of 21.4 years, ch-aviation.com indicates. Some of the quadjets have been returning from storage ahead of their scheduled and anticipated return to service. All eight machines are due to be used again before being withdrawn and replaced by incoming Boeing 777-9s.

The German carrier expects to resume commercial B747-400 flights on October 31st, the first day of the northern hemisphere winter. As you’ll appreciate, this is liable to change, although Eurocontrol data from last week shows that Frankfurt was Europe’s fourth-busiest airport by total flights.

Jumbo Return: Lufthansa Planning Many 747 Routes From October
Lufthansa’s expected 747 network on October 31st. Blue = B747-8; green = B747-400. Image: OAG Mapper.

Lufthansa plans 11 B747-400 routes

Lufthansa expects 10 routes by the type from October 31st, with an 11th – to Seattle – due on March 27th, the start of summer 2022. All routes are bookable by the 744, all are from Frankfurt, and all are once-daily. If they all do take off on October 31st, the 744 will have 10 outbound flights that day, OAG shows, behind the A330-300 (13), A340-600 (14), and B747-8 (16).

At 5,322 miles, Frankfurt-Seoul is the longest route. In contrast, Frankfurt-Dubai (3,022 miles) is the shortest. LH630 is scheduled to depart Frankfurt at 13:30, arrive Dubai at 22:45, leave at 01:50, and arrive back in Germany at 05:45. It’ll compete directly with two daily A380 flights by Emirates.

  • Boston
  • Denver
  • Dubai
  • Miami
  • Mumbai
  • Orlando
  • Seattle (from March 27th)
  • Seoul
  • Toronto
  • Vancouver
  • Washington Dulles
Lufthansa B747-400
Lufthansa began Frankfurt-Orlando in 2007. It was originally by the A330-300 and then A340-600, with the B747-400 first appearing in 2009. It became 744-only from 2015, with the A330-300 reappearing in 2021. Photo: Kentaro Iemoto via Flickr.

And 16 routes by the B747-8

Lufthansa’s B747-8 fleet (code: 74H) comprises 19 examples, averaging 7.9 years. Across all carriers, there are just over 10,000 747 flights this year, with the 74H now the leading variant – mainly thanks to Lufthansa. The equipment has been used regularly through the pandemic.

Looking at the week starting October 31st, the following routes are expected. All are bookable, from Frankfurt, and once-daily. Some 12 of these 16 are already operated by the 74H, but Hong Kong, JFK, Singapore, and Tokyo are scheduled to see the variant from October 31st.

  • Bangalore
  • Buenos Aires
  • Chicago
  • Delhi
  • Hong Kong
  • Houston
  • Johannesburg
  • Los Angeles
  • Mexico City
  • New York JFK
  • Newark
  • San Francisco
  • Sao Paulo
  • Shanghai
  • Singapore
  • Tokyo Haneda
Lufthansa B747-400
If there aren’t more changes, the first B747 departure will be at 09:50 to Miami. Photo: Getty Images.

On October 31st

If all B747-400 and B747-8 routes operate as planned on this day, there will be 26 departures from Frankfurt, timed as follows.

Departure time from FrankfurtTo…Aircraft
10:05San FranciscoB747-8
10:25Los AngelesB747-8
13:35Mexico CityB747-8
18:00Tokyo HanedaB747-8
21:55Sao PauloB747-8
22:15Buenos AiresB747-8
22:15Hong KongB747-8

The mid-morning departures to North America will be fed by many arrivals from across Europe, along with Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, Nairobi, Abuja, Lagos, Cairo, Dubai, Almaty, and more. It is a timely reminder of how connectivity is vital for us, including Lufthansa and its Star Alliance partners.

Do you have plans to fly either variant with Lufthansa this year? Let us know in the comments.