Lufthansa might be grounding the better part of its fleet amid the ongoing Corona-Crisis, but its Boeing 747 Retro Crane is still due to stretch the wings and fly. On March 28, 2020, the airline is planning to operate two repatriation flights employing its 747-8s, including the one featuring the retro livery. 

On March 19, 2020, Lufthansa Group revealed that the COVID-19 outbreak had cut the ground from its feet, as it was forced to ground around 700 of its 763 aircraft and several airlines within the group suspended operations completely.

Nevertheless, the multiple travel restrictions are a headache to passengers as much as airlines. In cooperation with the Federal Government of Germany, the airline is operating several repatriation flights to help German citizens return home. 

Two of them, scheduled on March 28, will be operated with Boeing 747-8 aircraft. The flight 

LH345 will originate in Auckland (AKL), New Zealand, and will make a stopover in Tokyo (HND), Japan, before coming to Frankfurt (FRA), Germany. 

The flight LH343 will take off from Manila (MNL), the Philippines, and head back to Frankfurt (FRA) without stops. The aircraft scheduled to operate the flight is Lufthansa’s five years’ old Boeing 747-8 (registration number D-ABYT). Delivered to the airline in March 2015, it features special Retro colors.

At least that is the plan. “Changes can occur at short notice,” the airline warns.

Having welcomed its first Boeing 747 in 1970, the airline group still has 32 Queens left in its fleet. However, half of them, 16, have been recently stored, according to planespotters.net data.