Lufthansa’s cargo plans have flipped due to the pandemic. Once planning to reduce capacity, the carrier announced that it will now grow its 777F fleet to meet demand. With the last MD-11s retired, Lufthansa is adding two more freighters to the fleet. Let’s find more about these aircraft and where they are coming from.
In June, Lufthansa announced that it plans to add two more 777Fs to its fleet to meet the surging cargo demand. The news came just weeks before the airline announced that its last three MD-11Fs had found a buyer, ending the jet’s long operations at the German carrier.
According to aeroTELEGRAPH, we now know where these jets will be procured from amid record demand. One 777F will come directly from Boeing, as announced earlier this year. The other is a leased solution, with Lufthansa Cargo procuring the jet from Dubai Aerospace, a state-owned lessor. As you might guess, the aircraft is coming from another major 777 operator: Emirates.
Lufthansa Cargo will add a 10-year-old 777F, previously registered A6-EFF. The aircraft will now be repainted into Lufthansa’s colors and join the fleet as D-ALFJ. The introduction of this means both Lufthansa Cargo and Emirates SkyCargo have the same number of planes until the former’s Boeing order is complete.
Lufthansa’s cargo plans have been thrown into disarray due to the pandemic. The airline originally planned to retire all of its MD-11Fs in favor of nine 777Fs in 2020. However, with freight demand being the only major source of revenue last year, the MD-11Fs stayed on for a year longer, and 777F deliveries remained on track.
However, the MD-11Fs officially made their exit in mid-June this year, leaving Lufthansa will lower available capacity. To offset this, the airline opted to grow its 777F from nine to 11, with both deliveries scheduled for 2021 itself.
In a statement about the aircraft orders in June, Lufthansa Cargo CEO Dorothea von Boxberg said,
“We are very pleased that we will be able to offer our customers additional freighter capacity in the future. The Corona crisis has impressively underlined how important these aircraft are for global supply.”
As Lufthansa charts its path out of the pandemic, efficient aircraft is the name of the game. The carrier plans to retire six long-haul aircraft types and shrink the fleet by up to 150 aircraft in the coming months. This will mean saying goodbye to the 747-400s, A330-200s, A340s, and many more across the group.
Cargo remains the only part of business growing, and Lufthansa wants to keep it in the back pocket to protect from passenger revenue falls. For now, the 777F is the flagship of the fleet, and more are on the way.
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