A Lufthansa flight from Boston to Munich was forced to divert twice in the space of just a matter of hours after suffering engine problems shortly after takeoff on both occasions.
Lufthansa flight LH425 departed Boston Logan International Airport at around 8:18 pm on Tuesday, but within minutes of what should have been a less than seven-hour flight to Germany, the pilots told air traffic controllers that they had to return to Boston due to a technical problem.
The 16-year-old Airbus A340-600 was then made to go dump fuel off the coast before returning to BOS where it landed without incident around an hour and 20 minutes after departure.
It appears that engineers gave the go-ahead for a second attempt and the aircraft, which has a maximum capacity of 297 passengers in one of the two configurations selected by Lufthansa, again departed Boston 1:06 am in the early hours of Wednesday.
It was, alas not to be, and the pilots yet again reported an engine problem. Perhaps sensing deja vu, the aircraft was sent off the coast to dump fuel before landing back at Boston around an hour later.
There was not to be a third attempt. The flight was promptly cancelled – presumably because even if the technical issue could be rectified, the crew would time out before the plane could get back in the air.
Lufthansa sent its fleet of A340-600s into deep storage at the start of the pandemic in early 2020 and had planned to retire the elongated aircraft before deciding in June 2021 to bring back five of the gas guzzlers to serve key routes from its Munich hub.
The reason was that not only was passenger demand surging back but that there was an appetite for a First Class cabin and most of Lufthansa’s fleet no longer have First Class cabins.
Lufthansa will sell 12 of its 17-strong A340-600 fleet and keep the remaining five in order to serve markets where First Class is in demand. Each jet has eight seats in First Class, along with Business Class, Premium Economy and Economy Class cabins.
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 relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.