Lufthansa launches first 747-8I flight from FRA-IAD

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Published: June 1, 2012

Lufthansa Group chairman and CEO Christoph Franz and VP GM-747 program Elizabeth Lund after landing at IAD on LH’s 747-8I inaugural flight. By Kurt Hofmann

Lufthansa (LH) flight LH416—the first Boeing 747-8I passenger service that flew from Frankfurt (FRA) to Washington Dulles (IAD)—landed at 12:45 local time Friday, 10 min. ahead of schedule. Flying time was 7 hr. 57 min. ATW joined the inaugural flight.

During the gate ceremony in FRA, LH Group chairman and CEO Christoph Franz said the aircraft, which uses 15% less fuel and has a 30% noise reduction compared to the 747-400, is “not only in line with our company’s commitment to innovation, technology and efficiency, but … also offers qualities and features that are sure to maximize our passengers’ inflight experience.”

The LH 747-8I aircraft is equipped with 362 seats in a three-class configuration (8 first-, 92 business- and 262 economy class). The 748-8I also features state-of-the-art wings with improved aerodynamics and raked wing tips; and new fuel-efficient GE Aviation GEnx-2B engines that contribute to a reduction in fuel burn, emissions and noise; and fly-by-wire technology.

At FRA, the aircraft passed through the traditional water salute.

With the launch of LH’s scheduled operations, Boeing hopes expand the 747-8I’s presence in the market. “We have several campaign activities running and we see how this will turn out,” VP GM-747 program Elizabeth Lund told ATW aboard the aircraft.

Boeing will deliver four more 747-8I passenger aircraft to LH this year ( ATW Daily News, May 3 ).

“Next year Korean Air Lines and Air China are the next deliveries of the passenger version beside Lufthansa,” Lund said. LH is expecting its second 747-8I within the month.

LH Group head-fleet management Nico Buchholz told ATW that LH has a total of 160 aircraft on order for delivery throughout 2017. “Currently we are looking at the fleet planning for 2016 through 2025. That includes replacements for [Airbus] A340-300, older A340-600s, 747-400s, older A320, as well 767/777s of Austrian Airlines,” he said, without giving details about future orders. The next new type of aircraft that LH will integrate will be the Bombardier C Series from the end of next year for Swiss International Air Lines, Buchholz said.

ATW , which flew on the upper deck, noticed a considerable noise reduction compared to the 747-400.

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