The switch to small planes: in the 2021 route plans of Lufthansa in the United States


How things are changing. In 2019, more than seven out of ten Lufthansa flights to North America were flown by four-engine aircraft. Today, they have less than four in ten – and the trend towards smaller twins continues. The A350-900 became the carrier’s first type, replacing the B747-8.

The A350-900 is now Lufthansa‘s No.1 aircraft in North America. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple theft.

The fifth airline

Lufthansa is one of 44 airlines planning to operate scheduled services between North America and Europe this year. With 14,101 return flights, Lufthansa is the fifth largest operator in this market. This equates to a 7.3% share of all flights, according to data provided by each carrier to OAG.

The German giant’s operation in North America places it behind Delta – the main airline – and United, British Airways and American. However, it has more flights planned than Air France, Air Canada, KLM, Virgin Atlantic and Turkish Airlines.

Lufthansa’s four-engine aircraft made 71% of flights in North America in 2019. It is now at 36%. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple theft

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So long, A380

Lufthansa was the world’s third-largest user of the A380 over the past decade. The airline had 14 A380s in all, but they were parked indefinitely. Yet the A380 played an important role from Frankfurt and Munich to the United States and Canada. In 2019, eight routes saw the A380. In order of the number of flights, they were:

  1. Frankfurt-Houston
  2. Frankfurt-New York JFK
  3. Munich-Los Angeles
  4. Frankfurt-Miami
  5. Frankfurt-San Francisco
  6. Frankfurt-Los Angeles
  7. Munich-Miami
  8. Munich-San Francisco

Lufthansa flew seven planes between Germany and North America in 2019. With just under 3,100 flights, the A380 was the sixth most used, ahead of the A340-300 and just behind the A330-300 . Now things are different.

The A380 was used on eight Lufthansa routes to the United States and Canada. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple theft

The A350-900 is n ° 1

While seven types operated in North America before the pandemic, Lufthansa will only fly five, with the number one A350-900, as shown below.

  1. A350-900: approximately 4,751 return flights
  2. A330-300: 4,241
  3. B747-8: 2430
  4. A340-300: 1,447
  5. B747-400: 1232

The share of A350-900 flights doubled from 17% in 2019, thanks to additional services by type and major cuts to other aircraft, notably the B747-8 and B747-400. Despite this, Simple Flying has shown that Lufthansa remains the only operator with 747 passengers between Europe and North America.

Across the airline’s entire network, the capacity of twin-engine planes has exceeded those with four engines. This is also seen in North America. In 2019, more than seven out of ten flights (71%) were carried out by quad. Now they’ve fallen to less than four in ten serves (36%). It is an inevitable but sad end of an era.

The A330-300 is Lufthansa’s most widely used jumbo jet across its network and No. 2 in North America. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple theft.

Lufthansa has 36 routes to North America

This year, Lufthansa has 36 routes between Germany and the United States and Canada. 23 are from Frankfurt, the rest from Munich. Frankfurt-Chicago O’Hare, a Star Alliance oriented route, is the airline’s number one hub in flights this year, overtaking Frankfurt-JFK. Its 10 main routes all depart from Frankfurt, as follows.

  1. Frankfurt-Chicago
  2. Frankfurt-New York JFK
  3. Frankfurt-Los Angeles
  4. Frankfurt-Houston
  5. Frankfurt-Washington
  6. Frankfurt-Toronto
  7. Frankfurt-Miami
  8. Frankfurt-Boston
  9. Frankfurt-Newark
  10. Frankfurt-San Francisco

With just three weekly services between August and October, Munich is the least served, although up to seven weekly services by another Star member, Air Canada, make up for this.

Will you be flying with Lufthansa this year? Let us know in the comments.

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