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FRANKFURT, GERMANY - Lufthansa expedited the retirement of its Boeing 747 fleet due to the lack of demand for global air travel amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The airline started with the oldest jumbojet last week. Lufthansa announced last year in summer that it would retire all Boeing 747-400s in the fleet 2025.

But because of the Corona crisis and the associated austerity measures, the end comes earlier for some of the 13 747 jumbojets remaining in the fleet. As of now, five 747-400s will leave the airline's fleet.

Lufthansa sent its oldest (24-year-old) 747-400 registered D-ABVO on its last journey last week. The plane arrived at the Twente Airport in Enschede, the Netherlands, where it will be dismantled.

The Dutch recycling company Aircraft End-of-Life Solutions (AELS) will take care of the jumbojet there and disassemble it. The other 747-400s to be sent to the Twente Airport are respectively the planes with registrations D-ABVP, D-ABVR, D-ABVS, and D-ABVT.

The D-ABVO joined the Lufthansa's fleet on May 17, 1996. The aircraft was not involved in the repatriation flights in March and April because it was in Beijing for maintenance since the end of January.

The plane will no longer see its base Frankfurt, where it was stationed for 24 years. With the direct ferry flight from Beijing to Enschede on June 5, its active service life ended without another trip to Germany.

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