Lufthansa is hard at work preparing for its longest-ever flight. The flight, scheduled for Tuesday, will see one of the airline’s Airbus A350s flying non-stop from Hamburg to the Falkland Islands.
The pandemic has necessitated a range of exciting flights that would not be seen otherwise. In Lufthansa’s case, this has seen aircraft flying as far as Auckland and Christchurch in New Zealand. However, now the airline has its sights set on the Falkland Islands to assist an Antarctic expedition.
Final preparations underway
With the mammoth flight to the Falkland Islands planned to take off from Hamburg on Sunday, Lufthansa is now undergoing final preparations for the flight. As part of the preparations, the crew and passengers heading to the Falkland Islands have been in quarantine for almost two weeks.
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Lufthansa will fly its Airbus A350 D-AIXP from Frankfurt to Hamburg to pick up the crew and passengers on Sunday. It will depart from Frankfurt at 16:30, with catering already loaded. Vacuum cleaners and cleaning materials will also be loaded. As local Falkland Islands workers won’t be allowed to board the aircraft, the Lufthansa crew will complete the turnaround themselves before departing the islands.
The aircraft is scheduled to depart from Hamburg at 21:30 on Sunday. The 15-hour flight with 16 members of crew and 92 passengers will be the longest flight to ever depart from Hamburg, in addition to Lufthansa’s longest ever non-stop flight. You can read more about the reasons for the flight in our previous coverage.
Passengers and crew will be bussed to Hamburg Airport, where they will use an unused area of the terminal to avoid interaction with other passengers who could be infected. The airport will use contactless boarding.
The passengers will be spread between the business and economy cabins. Those in business class will already have lie-flat beds. Meanwhile, due to the low load factor, those in the economy cabin will get three to four seats each as a lie-flat bed. Earlier this year, Lufthansa trialed the initiative on its Boeing 747-8s. The aircraft will return to Munich at roughly 14:00 on February 4th.
Quarantining before departure
While quarantine may seem like a horrible way to spend 14 days, this doesn’t seem to have been the case for Lufthansa’s crew. To keep the staff, isolating in Bremerhaven, healthy and happy, the airline put on a series of online information and sports sessions. Despite being confined to their rooms, the crew undertook a 10,000 step challenge in the first week of quarantine.
The crew was also treated to presentations from the scientists flying down to the Falkland Islands. However, these presentations proved so popular that they were eventually streamed live to hundreds of Lufthansa employees.
Are you excited to see Lufthansa undertake its longest flight yet? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!