Lufthansa launches Airbus A380 on Frankfurt-Narita route

by Kazuaki Nagata

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.

“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.