The New 747 route takes 55 hours for a return journey

    Lufthansa will launch flights to Nanjing with the Queen of the Skies this weekend.

    The COVID-19 crisis has affected millions of lives around the world. However, it has also changed the whole aviation industry forever. One of those notable changes saw airlines from across the globe retiring the 747 from their fleets. This has made the Queen of the Skies much harder to book a flight on for most. But one airline persists committed to the type.

    Flying the jet to China

    While Lufthansa may ground its Boeing 747-400s, for the time being, Lufthansa is actively flying its newer 747-8 aircraft, making it a passenger’s best chance if they want to fly on the type. The airline is now set to add another route to its 747-8 network.

    From Sunday (December 13th), the jet will operate Lufthansa’s route between Frankfurt and Nanjing. The course is operating weekly, with departures leaving Frankfurt on Sundays. The route will run to the following schedule:

    • Flight LH 780 will depart from Frankfurt (FRA) at 22:20. Following a ten-hour 40 minute night flight, the aircraft will touch down at Nanjing Lukou International Airport (NKG) at 16:00 the next day.
    • The aircraft will then remain in Nanjing until Wednesday.
    • FR LH 781 will depart Nanjing at 00:35 each Wednesday. After an 11-hour, 35-minute flight, the aircraft will touch down in Frankfurt at 05:10 that morning.

    Given the flight schedule above, each rotation of the Boeing 747-8 to Nanjing will take almost two days and seven hours. Lufthansa has 747-8 capacity free as many are grounded.

    What should passengers on the 747-8 expect?

    According to Lufthansa, a round trip to Nanjing starts at €1,952 for the first rotation in the economy cabin. This increases by just over double to €4,662 in business class. While the aircraft has eight first-class open suites in the plane’s nose, these are not for sale.

    Behind the 747’s first set of doors, the business class cabin begins. This consists of 80 business class flatbeds spread across two decks. On the main deck, there are six rows of seats with two seats on each row before you reach the second set of emergency exits and a staircase. Behind this are two rows of 2-2-2, creating a slightly more private mini-cabin. Up the stairs on the top deck are eight rows of business seats in 2-2.

    Interestingly, in a break from conventional cabin layouts, the economy cabin starts on the main deck behind business class with three and a half rows of 3-4-3 seating. Behind these are the exits above the wings, and the premium economy cabin’s start with a 2-4-2 layout across four rows. After this is the remaining of the economy cabin, unlike on the route to Sao Paulo, the airline won’t offer economy beds.

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