Lufthansa’s Boeing 747 Recovery Slows Slightly In August

Lufthansa has slightly slowed its planned Boeing 747 return to service in August. The airline has 567 flights…

Lufthansa’s Boeing 747 Recovery Slows Slightly In August

Lufthansa has slightly slowed its planned Boeing 747 return to service in August. The airline has 567 flights with the ‘Queen of the skies’ scheduled from August, compared to the 616 flights on the schedule for August a month ago.

The Lufthansa Boeing 747’s return to the skies will slow slightly in August. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

The pandemic has seen many airlines across the globe call time on the queen of the skies, over 50 years since the first Boeing 747 entered service. Sadly, the Boeing 747-8 wasn’t a hit with passengers airlines, attracting just three customers. One of these customers, German flag carrier Lufthansa, remains committed to the 747-8 and its older sister, the Boeing 747-400.

Almost 600 flights in August

As we enter the final days of July, it is time to start looking ahead to August. According to the latest schedule information from aviation data experts Cirium, Lufthansa currently has 567 Boeing 747-8 flights in its schedule for August. While the airline has been spotted flying some 747-400s around Germany, these aren’t due to return to service in August.

From June to July, Lufthansa’s Boeing 747 operations increased by roughly 83% from 239 to 438. While the growth will continue, 567 flights represent a monthly increase of just 29%. When Simple Flying looked at the schedule a month ago, 616 flights were scheduled for August, indicating that Lufthansa revised its August jumbo jet schedule down by around 8%. August will see the airline continuing to fly the jet to Palma de Mallorca once a week on a limited basis.

Lufthansa’s planned Boeing 747-8 routes for August. Photo: Cirium

Return of the Boeing 747-400?

While the German flag carrier isn’t expecting to fly the older generation Boeing 747-400 during August, things are set to change in September. As the schedule currently stands, the airline has 247 flights scheduled for its older queens during September.

This will make a post-pandemic record for the airline for two reasons. Firstly, it will be the first time both variants of the 747 have been used since March 2020. However, it will also be the first time the airline has gotten close to pre-pandemic flight levels. In March 2020, 996 flights were scheduled across the two types. In September, 972 flights are currently scheduled.

The Boeing 747-8’s recovery is going nicely. Data: Cirium

Of course, the breakdown of aircraft will be different. In March 2020, the Boeing 747-400 was responsible for 42% of jumbo jet flights. In September, it will be just responsible for just a quarter of the total flights.

Since the -400 fleet was grounded, the airline has retired some of the variants, meaning that it will likely never be able to reach total pre-pandemic 747 capacity. Thankfully, the remaining -400s aren’t on the way out just yet. Lufthansa is keeping them around until Boeing 777X deliveries begin, meaning the first won’t leave the fleet until 2023.

On the -400’s return, a Lufthansa spokesperson previously told Simple Flying,

“We will also be bringing our eight 747-400s back into service for the next few years. Starting in 2023, they will be successively replaced by the 777s once they are delivered.”

Transitioning to the Boeing 747-8

Since 2012, Lufthansa has slowly transitioned from the Boeing 747-400 to the Boeing 747-8. The total number of scheduled Boeing 747 flights dropped slightly at the start. From 2011, before the -8 entered service, to 2013, the 747 schedules dropped by around 4,000 flights per year from roughly 18,000. Despite this, the number of flights began climbing again, reaching over 17,000 by 2019.

The number of Boeing 747 flights initially fell following the -8’s introduction. Data: Cirium

While the drop in Boeing 747-400 flights averaged around 2,750 flights a year from 2011 to 2015, the Boeing 747-400s place in the fleet stabilized until the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic became painfully apparent in 2020.

From 2015 to 2019, the -400:-8 ratio remained relatively stable. Data: Cirium

The Lufthansa Boeing 747 fleet

According to the latest data from ch-aviation.com, the Lufthansa jumbo jet fleet currently consists of 27 Boeing 747s, accounting for roughly 10% of the airline’s fleet. The German carrier has eight remaining -400s, but as was previously revealed, none of these are currently active. Between them, these eight aircraft have an average age of 21.3 years, with a total capacity of 2,968 seats. 15 further 747-400s have been retired from the airline’s fleet.

Stay informed:  for our daily and weekly aviation news digests.

As the -8 has taken over the reins, it has morphed into the larger of the -400 sub-fleets. According to ch-aviation.com, Lufthansa presently has 19 Boeing 747-8 aircraft. Only five of these are listed as inactive, which is impressive considering the disdain that many airlines have for the larger jets. The -8 fleet has an average age of only 7.8 years, but between them will carry 6,916 passengers at once.

Lufthansa, Boeing 747, Return
five of 19 Boeing 747-8s in the fleet are currently inactive. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

Comparing old and young

Lufthansa’s oldest remaining Boeing 747 is D-ABVM. The aircraft had been in storage in Hamburg but was repositioned to Frankfurt Airport on July 23rd. According to ch-aviation.com, the aircraft is 23.52 years old. The aging plane took its first flight on January 28th, 1998, and was delivered to Lufthansa on February 7th, just days later.

The aircraft is listed with a current market value of $5.05 million. As of February 28th, it has completed 107,927 flight hours (over 12 years of flying) across 12,847. On average, it has been used for 12.48 hours a day, while its average flight length is eight and a half hours.

Lufthansa, Boeing 747, Return
Lufthansa’s four youngest 747s are all under seven years old. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

For comparison, the airline’s youngest 747-8 is D-ABYU. The aircraft was ordered by Lufthansa in December 2006 but didn’t take its first flight until March 5th. As such, the aircraft is 6.41 years old. Collateral Verifications LLC estimates that the aircraft is worth over ten times as much, giving a current market value of $54.74 million.

As of February 28th, the plane had flown for 25,334 hours (roughly 2.9 years) across 2,545 flight cycles. Its average daily usage is 11 and a half hours a day, while its average flight length is ten hours.

Have you flown on Lufthansa’s Boeing 747? Which variant did you fly on, and how was it? Let us know what you think and why in the comments below!

Source : Simple Flying More   

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Canada’s Air Transat Operates Its First Flights In 6 Months

After an uncertain flightless period lasting half a year, Canadian carrier Air Transat is finally back in the…

Canada’s Air Transat Operates Its First Flights In 6 Months

After an uncertain flightless period lasting half a year, Canadian carrier Air Transat is finally back in the skies. The return to service marks the beginning of a diverse summer program at the airline. This will see it serve a range of leisure destinations as far afield as Europe. It also plans to tap into increased domestic demand with additional internal flights.

Today will see three scheduled Air Transat flights take to the skies. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Returning to the skies

2021 has been a challenging year for Canadian carrier Air Transat. It started off well, with a proposed merger with flag carrier Air Canada receiving governmental approval in February. However, this hit an obstacle two months later, when the industry crisis forcing the airlines to cancel the merger in April. Travel restrictions have also impacted operations.

Indeed, Air Transat has also been unable to operate scheduled commercial flights for half a year. It had hoped to recommence these in June, but it is only today that the airline has returned to the skies. Its first post-suspension revenue-earning service connected Montréal with Punta Cana (Dominican Republic). Annick Guérard, its President and CEO, stated:

It is with great joy and excitement that we return to the skies after these long months of suspension. We are thrilled to finally reunite with our travellers and allow them to reconnect with their favourite destinations through our world-renowned travel experience.”

TS374 Flightpath
TS374 to Punta Cana was Air Transat’s first post-suspension scheduled service. Image: RadarBox.com

Stay informed:  for our daily and weekly aviation news digests.

Today’s other services

While TS374 from Montréal to Punta Cana departed nearly half an hour late, RadarBox.com forecasted an early arrival of 11:44 (STA 11:55) at the time of writing. The aircraft operating this service was an Airbus A321LR registered as C-GOIF. This next-generation narrowbody will also presumably be operating the return flight back to Montréal.

This service, numbered as TS375, is set to leave Punta Cana at 13:15 local time. It will touch back down in Canada at 17:45. Air Transat’s third and final flight of its first day back in the skies will be a domestic jaunt from Montréal to Vancouver. This reflects the airline’s plans to operate more internal services in response to increased domestic demand. It states that:

To meet the sustained demand from travelers wishing to uncover more of their Canada this summer, Air Transat offers an extensive program of domestic flights between Calgary, Montréal, Québec CityToronto, and Vancouver. This includes exclusive direct flights between Québec City and Vancouver, a first for the airline.”

Air Transat will target both domestic and international leisure travelers this summer. Photo: Getty Images

A busy summer ahead

All in all, Air Transat’s busy summer program will see the airline serve 24 routes 16 destinations. To support these plans, three more Airbus A321LRs will come onboard, bringing the carrier’s total fleet of these long-range narrowbodies to 10 aircraft.

In terms of destinations, Air Transat will supplement its domestic offering with extensive international coverage. The carrier will serve the neighboring US (Fort Lauderdale and Orlando), as well as various Central American holiday hotspots. Long-haul services are also returning, with Portugal (Lisbon and Porto) and the UK (London) on the cards.

What do you make of Air Transat’s return to the skies? Are you planning on flying with the Canadian carrier this summer? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Source : Simple Flying More   

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