The German airline Lufthansa says it has witnessed a 25-fold increase in bookings for the popular Spanish holiday island of Mallorca and as a result is now planning to operate some flights with larger wide-body aircraft which would normally be reserved for long-haul routes – including the Boeing 747-8 ‘jumbo jet’.
Lufthansa’s fleet of jumbo’s spent most of the pandemic in deep storage as travel restrictions decimated demand but with the successful rollout of vaccines across Europe the airline is slowly bringing the double-deck jets back.
Around 13 of Lufthansa’s 19 strong fleet of 747’s are currently active but they are usually found flying routes between Frankfurt and Mexico City, Los Angeles and Miami. Putting the jets on short-haul holiday routes harks back to the heady days of leisure aviation when jet fuel was much cheaper.
The Boeing 747-8 is the largest aircraft in Lufthansa’s fleet with capacity for 364 passengers – room for more than 100 passengers that are squeezed on Lufthansa’s largest single-aisle short-haul plane.
Lufthansa plans to use its ‘Queen of the Skies’ on four weekends over the summer starting in mid-July through to early August when demand will be at its peak. The experience should be an upgrade on Lufthansa’s usual short-haul planes offering with more legroom and seatback entertainment.
First Class seats will be sold as a normal Business Class seat and Premium Economy will be offered as a standard Economy fare for some lucky passengers.
From its base in Munich, the airline also plans to fly to Mallorca with its Airbus A350 that has capacity for 293 passengers.
Germany is slowly lifting pandemic-related travel restrictions as the vaccine rollout is Europe gathers pace. The European Union has agreed to lift restrictions amongst member states for fully vaccinated travellers leading to a surge in bookings and the hope of a successful summer season for the airline industry.
Photo Credit: Lufthansa
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently used by some of the biggest names in journalism.