Lufthansa will be sending quite a few planes through Dubai in the coming weeks…
All Lufthansa flights to India will route through Dubai
Airline logistics are complicated nowadays. For the time being, all Lufthansa flights to & from India are being routed through Dubai Airport. As of now this shows as being scheduled through the end of May, though presumably this could be extended beyond that.
For some context on Lufthansa’s current service to India, the airline is flying to three destinations, all using Boeing 747-8 aircraft:
- Lufthansa flies 3x weekly between Frankfurt and Bangalore
- Lufthansa flies 4x weekly between Frankfurt and Delhi
- Lufthansa flies 3x weekly between Frankfurt and Mumbai
For the time being, each of these flights will stop in Dubai in both directions.
How Lufthansa flights to India will be routed
To give a sense of what this service looks like, let’s use the Mumbai flight as an example, which is scheduled as follows:
LH756 Frankfurt to Dubai departing 11:35AM arriving 7:50PM [6hr15min]
LH756 Dubai to Mumbai departing 8:35PM arriving 12:55AM (+1 day) [2hr50min]
LH757 Mumbai to Dubai departing 2:45AM arriving 4:20AM [3hr5min]
LH757 Dubai to Frankfurt departing 5:30AM arriving 10:05AM [6hr35min]
For context, here’s what the schedule for this flight usually looks like without a Dubai stop:
LH756 Frankfurt to Mumbai departing 1:05PM arriving 1:05AM [8hr30min]
LH757 Mumbai to Dubai departing 2:45AM arriving 8:25AM [9hr10min]
As you can see, this Dubai detour adds a considerable amount of time to the journey between Germany and India.
Lufthansa will fly quite a few Boeing 747-8s through Dubai
Why is Lufthansa doing this?
This new Dubai stop is purely about crew safety, as passengers won’t have the option of getting off the plane in Dubai. Because of how bad coronavirus is in India at the moment, this stop is intended to allow crews to simply have two layovers in Dubai, rather than laying over in India.
The way crews will be rostered:
- They’ll fly from Frankfurt to Dubai, and will have a layover in Dubai
- Next they’ll fly from Dubai to India to Dubai, and will have a layover in Dubai
- Lastly they’ll fly from Dubai to Frankfurt
Lufthansa isn’t the first airline to do something like this. Earlier this year Air New Zealand added a stop in Honolulu on its flights to the USA, for crew safety. Since case numbers were lower in Hawaii than California at the time, flights stopped in Honolulu for a crew change.
Crews would fly from Auckland to Honolulu, have a layover, fly from Honolulu to California to Honolulu in the same day, have a layover, and then fly from Honolulu to Auckland.
Air New Zealand did something similar for USA flights a while back
For the time being Lufthansa is routing all of its flights to India through Dubai. This is for crew safety, to allow crews to have layovers in Dubai rather than India. Crews will now operate flights from Frankfurt to Dubai, then from Dubai to India to Dubai, and then from Dubai back to Frankfurt.
There’s no way to book these flights purely between Frankfurt and Dubai, or between Dubai and India. Rather the only people getting off the plane in Dubai will be the crew.
So if you fly through Dubai anytime soon and are surprised to see Boeing 747-8s, now you know why they’re there…
(Tip of the hat to Frankfurt Flyer)