One Of A Kind: The Only Route Served By The A380 & B747-400

It might be hard to believe, but there is only one route anywhere in the world that will see a passenger B747-400 and the A380 this winter: Frankfurt to Dubai. We examine the latest and see where else will welcome the A380 and B747-400.

Boeing_747-430,_Lufthansa_AN2189990
Emirates uses the A380 and Lufthansa the B747-400 (and B747-8) between Frankfurt and Dubai. Photo: Konstantin von Wedelstaedt via Flickr.

The only passenger B747-400 and A380 route

The 3,012-mile (4,848km) route from Frankfurt to Dubai is served non-stop by Lufthansa and Emirates. The pair have three departures a day: Emirates has two and Lufthansa one. The schedule is as follows, with all times local.

  • LH630: leaving Frankfurt at 13:20, arriving in Dubai at 22:45; B747-400
  • EK46: 14:30-23:45; A380
  • EK48: 21:20-06:45+1 the following day; A380
Dubai to Frankfurt
On the day this article is written, LH631 took off from Dubai at 03:52 and arrived home at 07:10. It used D-ABVU, delivered in 1998. Image: Radarbox.com.

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Emirates exclusively uses the A380 to FRA

Emirates now uses the A380 exclusively to Frankfurt, one of the few times since the double-decker quadjet was first used on the route that won’t be operated alongside the B777-300ER. The Middle East carrier had expected to deploy the two-class, 615-seat, high-density configuration to Frankfurt from December 1st, although it now looks like it won’t be.

Emirates, A380,
Frankfurt is one of 31 airports to see Emirates’ A380s this winter (including a one-off to Bahrain). Photo: Emirates.

While Lufthansa (mainly) uses the B747-400

Meanwhile, Lufthansa uses 371-seat B747-400s, a type reintroduced in October despite most other airlines withdrawing it. However, since the winter season began, the B747-400 has been replaced on two occasions by the more premium-heavy B747-8. These have eight first class seats (the B747-400 has none) and either 80 or 92 seats in business.

Boeing_747-430,_Lufthansa_AN0361582
Lufthansa’s B747-400s have been regularly used to Dubai. Photo: Konstantin von Wedelstaedt via Wikimedia.

Frankfurt to Dubai

Frankfurt to Dubai is a large market, surpassing one million round-trip seats every year between 2012 and 2019. It is obviously mainly about Emirates, whose share of the market rose from 64% in 2004 to over eight in ten seats (84%) in 2019, analyzing OAG schedules information reveals.

Emirates passed one million seats in two years (2016 and 2018) and was very close in two others (2017 and 2019). This resulted from a three-daily Frankfurt service, with 14 out of the 21 weekly flights usually by the double-decker.

Since 2004, Emirates has used the A330-200, A340-300, A340-500, B777-200ER, B777-200LR, B777-300 (non-ER), B777-300ER, and A380 to Frankfurt. The A380 was first used in 2014, although the B777-300ER remained dominant until 2016.

Lufthansa, meanwhile, has used the A330-300, A340-300, A340-600, B747-400, and B747-8 to the UAE airport. The B747-400 has operated in most since 2014.

Frankfurt to Dubai
‘Other’ includes Condor and TUIfly. Source of data: OAG.

Emirates’ A380s and Lufthansa’s B747-400s

This winter, some eight airports are scheduled to see Lufthansa’s B747-400s. Meanwhile, 30 will see Emirates A380s, along with a one-off service to Bahrain on December 15th to mark the country’s national day. However, 25 airports that the A380 served in winter 2019 won’t be this winter.

What do you make of Frankfurt-Dubai being the only route worldwide to see passenger B747 and the A380? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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