MIAMI – Lufthansa’s retro liveried Boeing 747-8I (D-ABYT) is now back in service after being stored back in March 2020.

Yankee Tango took off from Frankfurt-Flughafen (FRA), on June 3, this time not for a test flight but for a real one with passengers on board, destined to Brazil’s Sao Paulo (GRU), as flight LH506.

During the months preceding its return to service, Yankee Tango was a sorrowful sight while sitting on various parking stands at FRA, with two of its GEnx turbofan engines out and the remaining two nicely packed to avoid contamination. D-ABYT did however better than other Boeing 747-8 also stored at FRA.

Many of its sister aircraft were completely devoid of engines – technically called Boeing 747neo “for no engine option” as LH had grounded most of its Boeing 747 no more needed due to travel stops dictated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The six-year-old Yankee Tango went into mothballs on March 29, 2020, and its only trips were between parking spots at FRA airport.

Travel Demand Uptick Help

Thanks to the easing of travel restrictions, LH technicians have worked aroud Yankee Tango to have it ready to fly, a fact that became reality on June 1, after 14 months of forced inactivity, when it took to the airs for a 100 minutes check flight. The real thing followed two days later.

In view of travel demand rising steadily, LH is taking out of storage other aircraft, notably Boeing 747-8I which will soon reach a total of 13 back to the skies out of a total fleet of 19. D-ABYA, presently stored in Hamburg (HAM) being the next in line.

Lufthansa Boeing 747-8I D-ABYA next in line to return in service – Photo : Alberto Cucini/Aitrways

Comments from Lufthansa

LH Board member, Harry Hohmeister, commented on the rising demand, ten to eleven times higher for July and August.

Hohmeister says, “Booking numbers have been growing steadily for eight weeks, with a significant jump last week. That was the strongest seven days since April 2020.”

Featured image: Lufthansa Boeing 747-8I D-ABYT in Retro Livery. Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways