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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Lufthansa launches Airbus A380 on Frankfurt-Narita route

Staff writer

Deutsche Lufthansa AG launched its new flagship Airbus A380 between Frankfurt and Narita on Saturday, becoming the first European carrier and the second after Singapore Airlines to operate the world's biggest commercial airplane at Narita International Airport.

News photo
Marking the occasion: Officials attend a ceremony at Narita airport on Saturday to mark the launch of Airbus A380 flights between Frankfurt and Narita by Lufthansa. From left: Uwe H.W. Mueller, vice president of Asia and Pacific at Lufthansa, Kosaburo Morinaka, CEO of Narita International Airport Corp., Wolfgang Mayrhuber, CEO of Lufthansa, Hisashi Kataoka, administrator of Narita International Airport, Glen S. Fukushima, CEO of Airbus Japan KK, and Otto F. Benz, general manager for Japan at Lufthansa. YOSHIAKI MIURA PHOTO

"As of today we've opened up a new window of opportunities for the future between our two countries," said Lufthansa Chief Executive Officer Wolfgang Mayrhuber during a news conference held in Tokyo.

"The A380 is most advanced in terms of technology," he said, explaining that the cabin is quieter, the economy seats have been completely redesigned for greater convenience, business-class seats have been upgraded and there are brand new first-class seats.

The new plane, which is made by Airbus SAS, has 526 seats, comprising eight first-class and 98 business-class seats on the upper floor and 420 economy seats on the first floor.

The A380 also offers improved fuel efficiency and is less noisy. According to Lufthansa, the A380 can carry one customer for 100 km using only three liters of fuel.

Starting in August, Lufthansa plans to use the A380 for all Frankfurt-Narita flights, which is code-shared through its alliance partner All Nippon Airways Co.

"With the inaugural flight of the A380 this time, the Japanese market has become more important," Mayrhuber said.

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The Japan Times

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