News Report

Lufthansa Launch FRA-LAX with the 747-8i

Brandon Farris reports from LAX.


img1 Lufthansa Airlines has recently upgraded the aircraft operating its Frankfurt (FRA) to Los Angeles (LAX) route swapping the older model 747-400 to the brand new 747-8 Intercontinental. Los Angeles becomes the second US Destination to be served by the aircraft.

Brandon Farris was on hand to report for us, and now tells the story of the first ever arrival of Lufthansa's newest airliner into Los Angeles International Airport.

"The selection of Los Angeles for our new flagship aircraft demonstrates the market's critical importance for Lufthansa, which has had a presence in Southern California since 1960," said Juergen Siebenrock, Vice President, The Americas for Lufthansa. "The FRA-LAX route connects the world's two largest and most influential consumer markets for entertainment products- Hollywood and Germany. LAX is also an active gateway for pharmaceutical, IT, automotive industry and defense contractor industries, all of which are important customer segments for Lufthansa.

When I arrived at LAX, you could tell that there was excitement in the air. At the Lufthansa ticket counter a large 747-8I model wearing Boeing's 'Sunrise' livery greeted the invitees. Boeing representatives joked and gave me a hard time about my LH A380 tag on my bag from the A380 launch last year at San Francisco - oh well.

After I received my badge I was allowed to proceed to TSA where, even though I wasn't flying, they still wanted to put me through the body scanner. I politely opted out and was subsequently able to enjoy a very nice pat-down!

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At Gate 123, wherethe aircraft was due to arrive, Lufthansa put on an amazing spread, from roast beef to smoked salmon, pretzels and small cookie airplanes complete with Lufthansa 747-800 frosting. During the celebration, we received word that the aircraft was running a little late due to snow in Frankfurt, but nothing could dampen the sense of expectation..

As we steped outside, we all looked up and noticed that the 748 was on downwind to land and at around 13:10 PST after completing a long leisurely circuit she touched down at LAX for the first time. Applause broke out from invited gueats while members of the media clicked away as D-ABYA, named "Brandenburg," applied max' reverse thrust and came quickly to a halt. As she taxied to the gate, the LAX fire department completed a water canon salute and after parking at the gate, we headed back inside for celebration speeches.

With the speeches complete, it was time to board the aircraft. My heart raced with excitement as this was only the second 747 that I have ever stepped foot on. Once on board we were told we had about 7 to 10 minutes before the cabin crew had to prepare the aircraft for its departure back to Frankfurt. It was a mad rush to get through the airplane, I sadly missed the first class cabin, but managed to get upstairs which was one of my goals. Sadly the flight deck door was closed, so I wasn't able to see the all new advancements in instrumentation. .

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The Lufthansa 747-8I adds an extra 18 seats for the daily flight an increased capacity of 17% overall. First class is configured 1-1 with the exception of the last row that is 1-2-1, business class is 2-2-2 and coach is 3-4-3. The new product on Lufthansa's 747-8I are the 92 business class lie flat seats. "We integrated our customers very closely into the development of our new Business Class so we would be able to offer a product that was totally in line with their wishes and requirements," said Jens Bischof, member of the Lufthansa German Airlines Board.

The aircraft generates a 30% smaller noise footprint that the 747-400 and brings double digit improvements in fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions per passenger. This makes it one of the industry's most fuel-efficient aircraft and key to Lufthansa's commitment to the sustainable reduction of carbon emissions. The 747-8I fuselage is 253ft 2in long which is 18ft 4in longer than the 747-400 allowing allows LH to carry 26% more cargo volume.

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The aircraft features an all new state-of-the-art wing with improved aerodynamics and raked wing tips and state of the art fly-by-wire technology. Theis together with the all new, fuel efficient General Electric GEnx-2B engines contribute to the reduction in fuel burn, emissions and noise and thus offer airliness the lowest operating costs and best economics of any large passenger airplane . Lufthansa is currently the only 747-8I operator.


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