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Lufthansa 747-8 ‘Queen of the Skies’ Makes Rare Visit to Heathrow… The Airport’s First Jumbo Jet Visit in Eight Months

Lufthansa 747-8 ‘Queen of the Skies’ Makes Rare Visit to Heathrow… The Airport’s First Jumbo Jet Visit in Eight Months

a large white airplane on a runway

An increasingly rare sighting took place at Heathrow Airport on Tuesday when a Lufthansa Boeing 747-8 Jumbo Jets made a brief unscheduled stopover at the West London airfield… The first time that a passenger version of the 747 ‘Queen of the Skies’ has landed at Heathrow in eight months.

As the home base for British Airways, Heathrow was once home to one of the largest fleets of Boeing 747s in the world, with the airline operating a total of 103 Jumbo Jets over a nearly 50-year time span.

The only commercial passenger airline to have operated more 747s than British Airways was Japan Airlines but sadly, BA decided to unceremoniously ground its remaining 747s at the start of the pandemic in early 2020.

Ever since the iconic aircraft’s premature retirement from the BA fleet, sighting the Jumbo Jet at Heathrow has become an increasingly rare event.

On Tuesday, however, plane spotters were treated to the sight of an 11-year-old Boeing 747-8 (registration: D-ABYG) at Heathrow after it diverted en route from Miami to Frankfurt.

Sad circumstances were, unfortunately, the reason behind the unusual visitor at Heathrow as an onboard medical emergency necessitated the need for the pilots to get the plane on the ground as fast as possible.

The crew of Lufthansa flight LH463 had considered diverting to Dublin, but the plane ultimately ended up at Heathrow, where it landed at around 6:05 am. The aircraft remained on the ground at Heathrow for around two hours before departing for Frankfurt, where it landed around two and a half hours late.

Interestingly, the last Lufthansa Boeing 747 to visit Heathrow was back in July 2023, which was another diversion due to an onboard medical emergency.

Lufthansa operates 19 Boeing 747-8 aircraft, which is the largest variant of the 747 family. The -8 model proved to be a commercial flop for Boeing and apart from Lufthansa, the only other airlines to operate the passenger version of the aircraft is Korean Air and Air China.

View Comments (3)
  • “The first time that a 747 ‘Queen of the Skies’ has landed at Heathrow in eight months.”?
    I operated two 747 flights into LHR, the first on Feb the 4th and the second on Feb 10th 2024.
    And there have been others within this 8 month period.

  • The plane was never a “flop” in the greater scheme of things. Boeing needed a counterpart to challenge the a380. What is left is the most beautiful plane in the skies. Boeing was late in deciding to produce the 747-8. Still, the 747-8 is a smart looking plane that makes the a380 look elementary.

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