Lufthansa has eight remaining B747-400s. They’re currently deployed on seven routes from Frankfurt: Beijing, Bengaluru, Boston, Mumbai, Orlando, Toronto, and Vancouver. However, others will materialize this winter.

Lufthansa’s B747-400s

With an average age of 22.5 years, the B747-400 is Lufthansa’s second-oldest widebody, according to Only the A340-300 is older (23.0 years). If all the German giant’s fleet is examined, the B747-400 is the third-oldest, behind the A321-100 (27.2 years) and A340-300.

Lufthansa has a long history with the B747, first with the B747-100 and B747-200, and now with the B747-400 and B747-8. In a double coincidence, its first B747-400 arrived 33 years ago in September 1989 and was retired almost exactly a decade ago.

Unlike its B747-8 subfleet, its B747-400s are far less premium-heavy. They have 371 seats: 67 in business, 32 in premium economy, and 272 in economy. Its B747-400s – all of which are active when writing – are as follows:

  1. D-ABVM: delivered in February 1998
  2. D-ABVU: December 1998
  3. D-ABVW: March 1999
  4. D-ABVX: December 1999
  5. D-ABVY: December 2000
  6. D-ABVZ: February 2001
  7. D-ABTK: December 2001
  8. D-ABTL: March 2002
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Lufthansa B747-400 on the runway

D-ABVM is Lufthansa’s oldest remaining B747-400. When writing, it had just arrived in Frankfurt from Vancouver. Photo:  Anna Zvereva via Wikimedia .

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Now seven routes

Between September 26th and October 2nd, the B747-400’s route network is as follows, organized by departure time from Frankfurt. In all, there are 40 departures. In contrast, the equivalent week in pre-pandemic 2019 had 70 flights, according to Cirium. Services are at 57% of what they were, obviously driven by the five B747-400s that have been removed (stored) since then.

Frankfurt to… B747-400 flights Time leaving Frankfurt Time arriving back in Frankfurt
Bengaluru 1x daily 13:05 09:00+1
Mumbai 1x daily 13:20 08:10+1
Vancouver 6x weekly 13:20 11:00+1
Boston 1x daily 13:30 06:20+1
Toronto 1x daily 13:50 07:55+1
Orlando 5x weekly 13:55 11:05+1
Beijing 1x weekly 21:05 07:30+3

Notice how the departure times are so similar. This shouldn’t be surprising: it’s Lufthansa’s peak widebody departure period (see figure). The exception, also in frequency, is Beijing. LH722 leaves Frankfurt at 21:05 on each Tuesday and arrives at 14:00 on Wednesday. The aircraft and crew remain in China until Friday, with LH723 departing at 01:15 and arriving back at 07:30.

Lufthansa Frankfurt widebody departures

This illustrates all of Lufthansa’s widebody departures from Frankfurt between September 26th and October 2nd. Image: OAG.

What else is coming?

As of September 26th, the following B747-400 routes will operate this winter, joining existing Bengaluru and Beijing but not the others. Indeed, winter B747-400 flights will be far below summer.

  1. Seoul Incheon: beginning October 19th; initially 2x weekly but mainly 1x weekly
  2. Washington Dulles: a B747-400 one-off on October 29th
  3. New York JFK: 1x daily from October 30th
  4. Qingdao: 1x weekly from December 2nd (out on Fridays, back on Mondays)
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Lufthansa B747-400 landing

The B747-400’s network mainly revolves around North America and India. Photo: Manos via Flickr .

What’s happening with the others?

Obviously, these additions mean that the existing network will change. The B747-400 is set to end flying to Mumbai on October 28th, Boston and Toronto on October 29th, Orlando on October 30th, and Vancouver on November 6th. However, all are scheduled to return next summer.

Have you flown Lufthansa’s B747-400s? If so, when was the last time? Share your experiences in the comments.


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