Lufthansa Cargo ends operation with MD-11F

Cargo airline made last flight with tri-jet freighter on Sunday, after more than 23 years of service

Lufthansa Cargo retired its last MD-11F on Sunday. The three-engine aircraft produced by McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) ended a career of more than 23 years in the cargo division of the German carrier.

The final flight of the MD-11F D-ALCC took off from New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport to Frankfurt. It is the last aircraft of this model registered in Europe and will now be sold to a US freight company.

“We are very grateful to our MD-11F fleet for over two decades of loyal service. We know that this particular aircraft has an incredible number of fans, throughout our colleagues at Lufthansa as well as among aviation enthusiasts worldwide,” said Dorothea von Boxberg , Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Lufthansa Position.

“The decisive factor for the introduction of the MD-11F at Lufthansa Position in the late nineties was its significantly better fuel efficiency compared to the widebody freighter previously used. In the future, we will rely on the twin-engine Boeing 777F for the same reason.”

The aircraft will be sold to US cargo airline (Lufthansa)

The first two MD-11F, freighter version of the long-range widebody, were received by Lufthansa Cargo in June 1998. In August of that year the D-ALCC plane that had just retired was delivered to the company.

In total, Lufthansa operated 19 MD-11F jets, including the last produced by Boeing (D-ALCN) and the last delivered by planemaker (D-ALCM).

At 61.2 meters long and 51.7 meters wide, the MD-11F can carry up to 94.7 tons of cargo. Since 2013, Lufthansa Cargo has been receiving Boeing 777F twin-engine engines to replace the famous tri-jet on its long-haul routes.

According to Planespotters, there are just over 100 MD-11s active in the world, most of them in the US with companies such as FedEx, UPS and Western Global Airlines, in addition to a few dozen aircraft stored in ready-to-fly condition.

There are more than 100 MD-11F in operation worldwide (Aero Icarus)