Spring 2018 was special for Munich Airport: With the beginning of the summer schedule on March 25, Lufthansa moved 5 Airbus A380-800s to operate the flights to Beijing, Hongkong and Los Angeles. The first arrival of D-AIMB (named “München”) on it’s ferry flight turned into a huge event even for people who are not usually watching planes. In exchange for the A380s, some of the A340-600s were moved to Frankfurt. One of the reasons why I managed to go spotting at Munich 4 times within a month. Since I have too many pictures to share them all at once, I will make this a little series with 3 or 4 episodes starting with my visit on March 25, featuring the first ever scheduled Lufthansa A380 departure to Los Angeles, one and a half ferry flights and quite a number of special liveries.
Let’s start the collection with a Munich classic - Lufthansa’s A320 taxiing to runway 08L. This one was one of several pilots waving to the spotters. I’ve never seen so many spotters at this spot before:
Not too special anymore by now, but you still need a bit of luck to get the new livery: KLM 737 just after arrival from Amsterdam Schiphol:
The first of several special liveries arrived from Russia: Aeroflot sent its A320 with CSKA Moscow livery:
Did I say new livery while speaking about the KLM Boeing 737? We also got something more recent taxiing by. And it even had yellow in it!
What’s your opinion on Lufthansa’s new livery on the CRJ-900?
March 25 turned out to be a lucky day around noon already. Pegasus showed up with it’s Airbus A320neo. Usually, an arrival from Turkey would be sent to the southern runway 08R. That day, it was different:
Let’s get to the reason why I went to the airport in the first place: The A380. Lufthansa’s D-AIME named Johannesburg arrived around midday on 08L and taxied all the way to the south of the airport to wait for its departure to Asia in the evening.
Have you ever seen a house with a tail?
An airline with lots of special liveries is SunExpress. The joint venture airline of Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines has several planes with special stickers attached. Here you see their Playstation Boeing 737 taxiing in from Antalya:
While Lufthansa’s long haul fleet at Munich used to be dominated by the A340-600 and A330 for a long time, the number of A350s has been steadily increasing since the first delivery back in December 2016. Today, the A340-600 fleet only makes a minority. The fifth A350 named after the German city of Essen seen here taxiing for departure to one of the many destinations in North America:
Not only Lufthansa operates long haul flights to North America from Munich. We also get many daily visitors from across the Atlantic. Not often these are painted in a new AND special livery at once though. Not only was it the first time I’ve seen the new livery of Air Canada at Munich. On this nice warm day the rotation from and to Toronto was operated by Air Canda’s 787 Dreamliner with the special “GO CANADA GO” sticker celebrating the Winter Olympics in Korea.
Shortly after the departure of Air Canada’s raccoon, the moment the hundreds of visitors at Munich’s visitor center as well as the spotters around the airport have been waiting for was there - The first ever commercial flight of a Lufthansa A380. It was operated by the second A380 Lufthansa got - D-AIMB/“München”.
Not only the Superjumbo is used to and from Munich. We still get a daily visit of Thai’s Queen of the Sky, here seen being towed from the remote stand to the departure gate after a long layover. Usually, this happens via the southern taxiways but again, thanks to a different remote stand than usual, I was lucky and got a shot of this majestic airplane.
With the start of the summer schedule, not only Lufthansa’s A380 ops started. Since March, LOT offers flights to Groningen, Netherlands operated by a Nordica CRJ-900. Seen here, the blue livery of Nordica. In my opinion a real beauty:
Two real frequent visitors to Munich but a nice picture in my eyes. Icelandair’s Boeing 757 seen taxiing in after the arrival from Keflavik, Iceland while one of many daily British Airways flights climbs out bound for London Heathrow Airport.
Germany’s aviation industry is still really confusing after airberlin’s bankruptcy back in 2017. While Condor planes and a mix of other wet leased planes operate flights for Easyjet, the situation involving Eurowings sounds even worse: Seen here, you see a former airberlin A320 now registered in Austria with the new airline Laudamotion. The partner of Ryanair is about to start a wet lease flight for Ryanair’s competitor Eurowings on the very first day of Laudamotion’s existence. What do you think? How long will this new airline exist?
Admit it. When you started reading this thread, you wondered why I announced “One and a half ferry flights”. Well, now that you made it that far, here’s the explanation: After a break I took at the visitor center, runway operations changed to the 26s. Knowing about the pending arrival of the third A380 scheduled for the evening flight to Hongkong I took the car and went to the runway end of 26R to get a nice pic of the 380 on short final. However, not everything worked out for me that day. Due to little traffic around and a way shorter taxi to the remote stand where it was supposed to park, the A380 was cleared for an ILS approach Runway 26L, leaving me and a few other spotters astonished at the wrong runway. The resulting backlit picture at least made for a nice silhouette shot after some editing.
I hope you enjoyed the selection of my pictures so far. I can assure you that I have even better pics from the other visits. I will upload those later this week. You might recognize some of that upcoming pictures from another thread on the IFC, they are from March 30 when I met @Lolo31R for another nice spotting day.
In case you love a photo so much you want to use it as a wallpaper for your computer or something else, feel free to message me to get the full size image (The images in this thread have been compressed and scaled to reduce file sizes).