Lufthansa Cargo’s last Boeing MD-11 freighter completed its final service with the European carrier on 17 October, before its sale to US operator Western Global Airlines.

The GE Aviation CF6-80C2-powered aircraft landed at Frankfurt airport on 17 October after a flight from New York JFK airport.

It marks the end of service for the three-engine type at Lufthansa Cargo after more than 23 years in the carrier’s fleet – and also the likely end of MD-11 operations with any carrier based outside the USA.

“We are very grateful to our MD-11F fleet for over two decades of loyal service,” says Lufthansa Cargo chief executive Dorothea von Boxberg. ”The decisive factor for the introduction of the MD-11F at Lufthansa Cargo in the late nineties was its significantly better fuel efficiency compared to the widebody freighter previously used. In the future, we will rely on the twin-engine Boeing 777F for the same reason.”

Lufthansa Cargo’s final example of the type – registration D-ALCC – is the last MD-11 registered in Europe, with US carrier Western Global lined up to purchase the jet, according to Cirium fleets data. Once that transfer is complete, data suggests the only other MD-11 registered to a carrier outside the USA – a single Saudia freighter – is in storage and due to be retired in December.

Cirium fleets data shows there are a total of 108 MD-11s in service today: 55 at FedEx Express, 42 at UPS and 11 at Western Global.

With the departure of its final MD-11, Lufthansa Cargo becomes an all-Boeing 777 Freighter operator, with 11 of the type in service, according to Cirium data.