News in brief:
The future of the Boeing 747-8i
Today I will be flying a Boeing 747-8i via Lufthansa for the first and possibly last time, on my way to New York.
The 747-8i – a stretched version of the 747-4 with a longer upper deck – has been a huge commercial failure with only three airlines ordering the passenger version. Given that the other two are Air China and Korean Air, Lufthansa seemed the best chance of giving it a go.
At almost six metres longer than the Airbus A340-600, it is the longest passenger airline in operation. The failure of the programme is part of the general trend away from larger aircraft which has also hit the A380, but the latter has sold better due to having a modern design rather than being based on a 40-year old lineage.
There have only been 47 orders for the 747-8 passenger version. Lufthansa has taken 19 (all delivered), Korean Air has 10 (nine delivered) and Air China 7 (all delivered). The rest are destined for the business jet / VIP market.
If you are very lucky, you may get to spot a Boeing 747-8 at Heathrow. From 26th March, one of the two daily Heathrow services operated by Korean Air has switched to a 747-8i. This is the first time that the aircraft has been used at Heathrow.
I found this article from Routes News interesting and worth a read if you have five minutes. It looks at the future – or not – of both the A380 and B747-8 programmes. This Wikipedia article gives you a decent rundown on the whole Boeing 747-8 programme.
Special Lufthansa deals from UK to Japan
Speaking of Lufthansa ….. if our recent Japan coverage has encouraged you to visit this summer, Lufthansa has launched a good business class sale for UK departures. Click here for details.
These prices are not as low as, say a Qatar Airways sale but you are do get to fly from the UK without positioning in Europe. Lufthansa has connections from many regional airports to Frankfurt so you may also get to avoid Heathrow.
The headline prices is £1799 return to Tokyo, Osaka, Sapporo or Nagoya.
There are also similar deals around £1799 to Dubai, Seoul and various cities in India. Other Asian destinations are a touch over £2000 return.
You must book by 23rd June for travel between 23rd July and 31st August. Full terms are on the Lufthansa website here.
Miles & More partners with Enterprise Rent-A-Car
Car rental groups have generally been strong partners with frequent flyer schemes, but for some reason Enterprise Rent-A-Car has never fully embraced this.
The Enterprise Rent-A-Car UK website only shows Flying Blue (KLM, Air France) and – oddly – airberlin – as mileage earning partners.
Enterprise has recently launched a deal with Lufthansa Miles & More, however. You will usually earn 500 miles per rental but, until the end of July, this is tripled to 1,500 Miles & More miles per rental.