MIAMI – Lufthansa Cargo (LH) is on the verge to retire its last remaining MD-11 freighter aircraft, becoming an all Boeing 777F operator.
With an average age of 23 years, the airline has been actively retiring the type and this year saw two of the last three already make its exit with the last one set to leave anytime.
Peter Gerber, the then CEO of Lufthansa Cargo, said, “We know that in the end we only want to have B777, and the MD-11 is out, but we will continue to fly it as long as business opportunities are there.”
A Powerful Workhorse
A recent post from LH Cargo’s LinkedIn page stated, “Within the next months, we will say goodbye to the MD-11F in our Lufthansa Cargo fleet. Over the years a total of 19 different powerful workhorses have flown for us. You can admire every one of them in the gallery.”
The First MD-11F joined LH cargo in 1998 and ever since served as the backbone for the cargo arm up and till the 777F came along and of course the pandemic.
The two MD-11’s that left the fleet were D-ALCD (in May 2021) and D-ALCA (in June 20021) and both were welcomed by the American cargo airline Western Global Airlines (KD). The one and only remaining MD-11F is D-ALCC, which is also set to join KD very soon.
Since 1998, the airline has operated 19 most of which are still operating for some of the other cargo airlines based in the US while the other remaining ones have already been scrapped off.
With a side cargo door for access, it has 26 positions available on its main deck with a standard loading weight of 93,230 kg.
As of 15:40 UTC 22 August 2021, the aircraft is making its way from Frankfurt (FRA) to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion (TLV) in Israel.
Tracking D-ALCC, the Last LH MD-11
The aircraft will go down as one of the most prominent and iconic type the airline has ever operated.
The MD-11, with its solid bulk look and its tail engine, was always a unique visitor to any airport that caught the attention of not just avgeeks but most passengers and staff.
Moving forward, the Boeing 777F will make up LH cargo’s fleet. Currently, there are 9 aircraft with one more expected to join soon. The airline has also considered the option to convert passenger Boeing 777’s into a cargo version.
Featured image: LH MD-11F. Photo: Fabrizio Spicuglia/Airways