Lufthansa’s MD-11 Retirement Draws Closer With Double 777F Delivery

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The remaining days for Lufthansa Cargo’s only remaining MD-11F are incredibly numbered, as the airline took delivery of two more Boeing 777F aircraft. The final MD-11 cargo flight is planned to touch down at noon on Friday, October 15th, after two decades of service from the type within the Lufthansa Cargo fleet.

Lufthansa is preparing to say farewell to its last MD-11F, following a double Boeing 777F delivery. Photo: Lufthansa Cargo

Across the world, airlines are rejigging their fleets with sustainability in mind. Just today, Air France took delivery of its first Airbus A220 aircraft, intended to replace some of its older A320 family aircraft. Meanwhile, Lufthansa itself is taking next-gen aircraft to replace less-efficient older quad-jets.

Bye Bye MD-11

Lufthansa Cargo has been left with a singe MD-11F, registered as D-ALCC. According to data from ch-aviation.com, the jet is 23.15 years old, having first flown in 1998. The aircraft was delivered to Lufthansa Cargo new and has completed some 95,517 flight hours across 17,865 flight cycles.

With a current market value of $5.25 million, it is time for the jet to move on to a new owner. Western Global Airlines is expected to take the plane off of Lufthansa Cargo’s hands, and the switchover is closer than you may think. According to Lufthansa Cargo, the aircraft’s last cargo flight will touch down at Frankfurt Airport at midday on October 15th.

The aircraft has been given a special livery for its final few flights. The phrases ‘farewell’ and ‘thank you, MD-11’ have been applied to the jet’s fuselage. It will wear this livery with pride as it undertakes its final rotations to Cairo, Tel Aviv, Chicago, and New York.

A new era for Lufthansa

Lufthansa is entering a new era when it comes to freighter operations. The more efficient twinjet is replacing the tri-jet. Lufthansa now has 11 Boeing 777 freighters, after taking its latest two recently. An additional four are available through a joint venture with AeroLogic.

D-ALFK was intended to be delivered to Lufthansa and was painted in the traditional Lufthansa Cargo livery by Boeing before delivery. It has been named Marhaba Egypt by the airline and touched down in Frankfurt at 06:00 this morning. This was the last purchase option that Lufthansa Cargo had for Boeing 777F aircraft.

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Despite this, another aircraft also arrived at Lufthansa. D-ALFJ is a second hand Boeing 777F. The aircraft was delivered to Emirates in 2011, with the Dubai-based giant withdrawing it from its fleet after ten years. The jet has already racked up 46,815 hours of flight time across 8,103 flights as of the end of July, operating as A6-EFF.

Lufthansa took delivery of D-ALFJ in an all-white livery. The airline has a challenge, though. It wants to offer the cargo capacity onboard the jet straight away, and a paint job can tie an aircraft up for a week or two. In the meantime, the airline is leaving the plane in its all-white livery, with the words “I’m a natural beauty” and “Waiting for my Lufthansa Group make up.” applied to the side of the aircraft with decals.

Are you sad to see the MD-11F’s impending departure? Or are you excited about the Boeing 777F deliveries? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!