Lufthansa rejigs 747-8 delivery schedule

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Lufthansa has slightly accelerated its Boeing 747-8 delivery schedule as aircraft become available earlier than expected.

The German airline received its 10th 747-8 (D-ABYL, MSN 37836) at its Frankfurt base on 7 February. The aircraft was due to be handed over in 2015, but the delivery has been brought forward because the long-haul widebody was already available at the assembly line in Everett, Lufthansa says.

The aircraft will undergo some final fitting-out in Frankfurt before joining the airline’s passenger flight operations, set to happen by the end of the month.

A further five 747-8s are to be delivered this year. The last aircraft of that batch had been due to join the fleet in January 2015, but is now scheduled to arrive in August 2014, says Lufthansa.

Four 747-8s are scheduled to be delivered in 2015, completing the planned 19-strong fleet.

Lufthansa originally ordered 20 747-8s, which included Boeing’s third test aircraft (RC021), a fully furnished jet used to test cabin systems. However, the manufacturer and airline arranged in 2012 that that aircraft would not become part of the latter’s fleet as planned.

No decision has yet been made on which of Lufthansa’s existing 747-400s will be retired next, the carrier says. Nine 747-400s have been phased out since the successor model was introduced two years ago.

The airline’s MRO arm Lufthansa Technik is parting out 747-400s at its US subsidiary facility in Tulsa.

Today, Lufthansa is operating 18 747-400s, Flightglobal’s Ascend Online database shows.