Lufthansa makes maiden Boeing 747-8 flight to Palma de Mallorca

After months of waiting, Lufthansa operated its first flight in a Boeing 747-8 from Frankfurt (Germany) to Palma de Mallorca (Spain). The flight took place on July 17 and was not operated by “any” 747-8. Indeed, lucky passengers boarded the D-ABYT, Lufthansa’s special retro-livery jumbo jet.

D-ABYT is Lufthansa’s 747-8 retro livery. The plane is six and a half years old. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple theft

Exchange an Airbus A321 for a Boeing 747

Palma De Mallorca (PMI) is a popular tourist spot for Europeans. Germans are no exception to this rule, being one of the largest groups of foreigners in the leisure destination.

While Lufthansa would normally operate an Airbus A321 on its daily two-hour service to the Spanish island, an increase in bookings has prompted the airline to increase the size of its planes on certain days.

First announced in early June, the carrier uses some of its widebody jets on days of high demand. For FRA at PMI, July 17 marked the first in a series of larger flights with LH1152 / LH1153. The “Queen of the Skies” will also operate three additional flights on weekends: July 24, July 31 and August 7.

Flight D-ABYT
It is quite rare to have such a large aircraft deployed on such a short route. Photo: RadarBox.com

At the end of the month, we expect to see Lufthansa deploy its Airbus A350-900 on its Munich-Palma route. This route oscillates between the use of an Airbus A319 and an Airbus A320.

About 747-8

The first serve was not a regular 747-8. Indeed, the jumbo jet in charge of this first two-hour flight was the 747-8 registered D-ABYT- or, as Lufthansa calls it, “the Yankee-Tango”.

While the interior of the aircraft offers a seating configuration identical to the other 747-8s in Lufthansa’s fleet (eight first, 80 business seats, 32 premium economy seats and 244 economy seats), its exterior stands out for its special retro livery. Named “Köln”, the jumbo jet was delivered to Lufthansa by Boeing in March 2015, making the aircraft six and a half years old.

The flexibility to “resize” an itinerary

One of the great benefits of fleet diversification is Lufthansa’s deployment of larger widebody jets on routes that would otherwise use much smaller widebody jets. While this increase in bookings could force other carriers to stop taking bookings, Lufthansa was able to adapt to this pent-up demand by swapping its Airbus A321s for a Boeing 747-8.

Indeed, the 747-8 of the airline offers 364 seats in four classes. This is a 77% increase in capacity. But it’s not just the quantity. This increase in staff allows the airline to offer many more premium seats, which have a higher yield. And, of course, the additional classes add a lot more comfort to the short-flight experience compared to narrow-body offerings from Lufthansa. Indeed, assuming Lufthansa activates its passenger entertainment systems, even regular economy class travelers will benefit from an IFE system otherwise absent from the airline’s normal intra-European jets.

What do you think of Lufthansa’s deployment of its large aircraft on short intra-European services? Did you have the chance to experience one of these flights for yourself? Share your thoughts and experiences with us by leaving a comment.

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