Lufthansa conducts first 747-8 Intercontinental passenger flight
Friday June 1st 2012 - Boeing
Lufthansa began commercial service of the first Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental today, along the inaugural route of Frankfurt to Washington, D.C. Flight LH416 departed Frankfurt at 9:50 a.m. and is scheduled to land at Dulles at 12:45pm.
The 747-8 Intercontinental is equipped with 362 seats in a three-class configuration (eight first class, 92 business class and 262 economy class). Business class offers a unique seating arrangement in the form of a "V" whereby two neighboring seats are angled towards one another along a central axis. Lufthansa said this fulfilled one of the main wishes expressed by customers during an extensive research process â€“ to sit or lie facing the direction of travel. It also provides almost double the distance between two neighbouring seats at shoulder level, giving greater privacy and more personal living space. The seat converts to a full-flat, horizontal sleeping surface measuring 6'6" in length (1.98 m).
On the exterior of the plane, new, state-of-the-art wings with improved aerodynamics and raked wing tips, along with fuel-efficient, U.S.-manufactured GEnx-2B engines, contribute to a reduction in fuel burn, emissions and noise. The aircraft generates a 30 percent smaller noise footprint than the 747-400 and brings double-digit improvements in fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions per passenger.
"The Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental is an exceptional aircraft," said Dr. Christoph Franz, chairman and CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG. "With its addition to our fleet, Lufthansa has created a product that is not only in line with our company's commitment to innovation, technology and efficiency, but that also offers qualities and features that are sure to maximize our passengers' in-flight experience. Travelers to and from Washington, D.C. are in for a memorable flight and Lufthansa looks forward to expanding our 747-8 Intercontinental service to other U.S. markets in the coming months."
Guests on todayâ€™s flight included Franz and Elizabeth Lund, Boeing vice president and general manager of the 747 program, who were joined by a delegation consisting of U.S. and international media, esteemed customers and partners.
"It is such an honor to join Lufthansa in welcoming the 747-8 Intercontinental into service," said Lund. "Lufthansa has provided great inspiration and leadership in helping us design a new Queen of the Skies for the 21st century, an airplane that Lufthansa will love for its efficiency and reliability, airport neighbors will love for its quiet operations and low emissions, and passengers will love for its beautiful new interior and extra space."
Upon the flight's arrival, Lufthansa, Boeing and the Metro Washington Airport Authority will host a press conference, along with guest speaker Francisco J. Sanchez, Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade.
The return flight, LH419, is scheduled to depart Washington, D.C. this evening at 5:55pm, arriving in Frankfurt at 8:05am the following day. Lufthansa's newest flagship aircraft will initially fly between the two cities six days a week (excluding Tuesdays), increasing capacity on this route by 6.3 per cent.
Lufthansa currently has 20 Boeing 747-8 Intercontinentals on order and is expected to take delivery of five in total this year. The airline will roll-out service to gateways throughout the U.S. and India.