First stranded Lufthansa 747 leaves storage for the desert

Following a week of uncertainty, the first jumbo has left Europe for the US

German flag carrier Lufthansa has sent the first of its Boeing 747-400s to the Mojave Desert for scrappage.

The jet, D-ABVP (c/n 28284) was one of the six jumbos stored at Twente Airport in the Netherlands that became stranded when the country’s government changed the facility’s certificates.

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Aero Icarus)

A spokesperson for Lufthansa last week told Key.Aero that after the arrival of its aircraft at Twente, the Dutch aviation authority changed a certificate. Previously, aircraft in size category E could take-off and land for non-commercial MRO purposes and for storage. This assessment had been revised so that code E types could only land but not leave.

(Photo: Flightradar24)

This decision appears to have been reversed as the aircraft departed the Dutch facility yesterday at 4.26pm local time bound for Frankfurt. At midday today, Victor Papa left the central German hub on a six-hour 38-minute flight to Bangor, Maine in the US.

Simon Gregory
(Photo: Aviation Image Network/Simon Gregory)

The widebody is expected to continue to the Mojave Air and Space Port today. Once at the facility, it’s due to be broken up for spare parts and following re-certification will go back into circulation via the used market – the airframes will be disassembled and recycled

The flight sequence was originally planned to take place on October 26.

(Photo: Flightradar24)

The nearly 24-year-old jumbo joined the flag carrier’s fleet on February 25, 1997. Victor Papa is the first of the airline’s 13 -400 examples to face the chop. GE Aviation Materials acquired five jumbos from the German firm, three based at Twente and two at Lourdes Tarbes in the south of France.

The American firm is due to accept one airframe per month with the last due to land at its Mojave facility in February next year.

The read the full story behind Lufthansa’s stranded 747s, click here: