Is Lufthansa Trying to Retire their 747’s?

So I obviously know that the 747 is getting retired slowly by almost every carrier, but Lufthansa is one of only a few passenger carries to still use the 747-8. To me this means that they would be one of the last airlines to use the -8 and even their -400s. But are they trying to phase them out? Starting at the New Year Lufthansa is stopping Flying their 747s to PHL. (Sad face because BA is also going to stop flying their 747s into PHL). Lufthansa is replacing them with a considerably smaller A340-300. This is surprising because Philly actually had a 98% load factor on outbound flights to Frankfurt with Lufthansa. This was the Highest in the United States. Lufthansa is also replacing the 747 with an A343 at Denver on the 3rd. But the A343 is also a pretty old aircraft so I wonder where they are trying to move their long-haul fleet to be and how quickly they’re trying to end their 747 service to all destinations.

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Well. I know for some reason LH is about to stop sending 744 to Denver starting Friday but nothing was ever announced or anything. I’m hoping it’s just for a week. It’s gonna be replaced with an A343

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No active phasing out for right now. Lufthansa plans on retiring their -400s as soon as the 777-9s enter into service.

I can only think of 2 reasons for why this may be occurring. 1) The holiday season usually causes an uptick in airline service for the higher demand. Once they pass, there’s not as much high travel demand for the dead of winter in the US until April/May rolls around when the weather is warmer and travel picks up again. 2)This could be a temporary fleet reshuffle. Remember Lufthansa is in the midst of repainting their fleet. They could be using this off-peak time to get ahead of repainting some of the 747s.

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They started flying the 747 to Philly at the end of 2018 so it’s been a little over a year and their capacity like I said was 98% and that was in September which is definitely not a peak month. I hope it’s just for repainting because once BA starts flying the A35K in, that’ll be the end of 747s at PHL. What I’m hoping is that Lufthansa is using the A340 to stall a little bit so they can wait for some A350s to be delivered to Frankfurt and then fly those in instead

I heard from someone at DEN that LH Friday flight has -62 seats available for that flight because of the downgrade.

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98% in September. September is the last peaky month for the summer since most college/university students have returned. Most summer seasonal flights end in September as well. After the winter holidays, demand for travel plummets for a lot of airlines in the US. Routes that may have performed 98% doesn’t mean it stays stagnant all year round.

It’s inevitable that the 747s will eventually be retiring. As difficult as it may be to grasp that reality, understand that the 747s, like other planes, can’t stay in the air forever. I sympathize with you, though. The 747 is a great aircraft and it’s a bit disappointing to see them slowly vanish from our skies.

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Winter. Winter. Winter. Summer is always the best for airlines. Frequencies and equipment almost always drop during the winter.

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You probably have a good point there. Maybe we could get @Lufthansa061 to shed some light on this 😉

Well the FAA fined us for flying the wrong aircraft type into PHL. Approval was only given using the A340. Until this problem is solved the 747 will be removed from this route. About DEN … let me have a look real quick but i might to remember it was because of maintenance… most of our 747 get their c-checks and d-checks done during the winter months. And for the 747 that means it is not just a c-check, it is a c+3c+6a check or so, means there are several more checks integrated which are pushed over the summer schedule into the winter time.

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Ouch that sucks

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Ok PHL update:

Until end of February : A340-300
01 March - 31 March : B747-400
01April - 31 October : A340-600

Not sure if the 747 will remain in the schedule for me looks more like that the A340-600 will take over in March already.

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Here are all changes for 2020 eff. 31 MAR 2020 ( however Denver is not mentioned ):

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Thanks A LOT for the insight! @Lufthansa061

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