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No parking bay, Lufthansa Boeing 747-8 to skip Mumbai

July 08, 2014 11:13 IST

No parking bay, Lufthansa Boeing 747-8 to skip Mumbai

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Aneesh Phadnis in Mumbai

Lufthansa will not fly its Boeing 747-8 to Mumbai from next week, as the city airport does not have enough parking bays to handle the jumbo aircraft.

However, the airline will continue to fly the Boeing 747-400 aircraft on the Frankfurt-Mumbai route.

The airport has only one in-contact (here aerobridge-linked) parking bay that can handle planes with wide-wing span such as Boeing 747-8 and Airbus A380.

The only available bay has been allocated to Emirates, which will operate A380 aircraft to Mumbai from July 21.

The issue arose because schedules of Lufthansa and Emirates flights at Mumbai are separated by just five minutes.

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Image: The airline will continue to fly the Boeing 747-400 aircraft on the Frankfurt-Mumbai route.
Photographs: Courtesy, Lufthansa

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On May 7, Lufthansa had announced it would fly Boeing 747-8 (designated as Queen of the Skies by the airline) on the Frankfurt-Mumbai route from July 15.

The German airline already flies Boeing 747-8 to Delhi and Bangalore and it seats 386 seats in a three-class configuration.

This includes eight first-class seats and 80 business class seats; the rest is economy seating.

The 747-8, too, is a flagship product of Lufthansa and is flown on select routes.

The airline had announced passengers would be able to use latest in-flight products and 6.5-ft long fully flat bed on this plane on Mumbai route.

Please click here for the Complete Coverage of Budget 2014 -15


Image: Currently, Lufthansa operates 46 weekly flights to India.
Photographs: Courtesy, Lufthansa

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No parking bay, Lufthansa Boeing 747-8 to skip Mumbai

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On May 29, Emirates announced it would fly Airbus A380 on its late night Dubai-Mumbai flight in place of a Boeing 777.

At present, Lufthansa flies a Boeing 747-400 on a Frankfurt-Mumbai route and had sought to replace it with a 747-8 type plane.

A Mumbai International Airport Ltd spokesperson confirmed that the airport has only one in-contact bay for A380 or 747-8 type plane and it can handle only plane of that type at a time.

“We are creating more bays, which will address the issue in a period of 15 months from now," the spokesperson said in an email response. The Delhi airport has nine parking bays, which can handle the super jumbo planes.

Emirates did not respond to an email query on the topic.

Please click here for the Complete Coverage of Budget 2014 -15


Image: At present, Lufthansa flies a Boeing 747-400 on a Frankfurt-Mumbai route and had sought to replace it with a 747-8 type plane.
Photographs: Courtesy, Lufthansa

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Lufthansa to bring A380 to Mumbai

“Aircraft deployment and rescheduling is a very normal practice in aviation industry and is based on many factors.

"Our plans to deploy the A380 to Mumbai have been made in view of the growing demand in the Indian market,” Lufthansa said in a statement.

“India is an important market.

"We always aim to offer our customers in India our top products like the new business class with fully flat bed seats and the new premium economy class.

"We change aircraft size according to demand in the markets and we are pleased to say that in view of the growing demand we plan to introduce the A380 in Mumbai instead of B747-8, both being our flagship aircraft.

"We have applied for permission and are hopeful for getting approvals soon,’’ Lufthansa added.

Please click here for the Complete Coverage of Budget 2014 -15


Image: German carrier Lufthansa has been operating flights in India for the past 55 years.
Photographs: Courtesy, Lufthansa

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