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Lufthansa Debuts Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

06 June 2012

German airline Lufthansa conducted the inaugural commercial flight of the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental on June 1, 2012, operating a flight from Frankfurt to Washington DC.

Guests aboard the Intercontinental's debut flight included Lufthansa CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board, Christoph Franz, Elizabeth Lund, Boeing's Vice President and General Manager of the 747 Program, and a delegation consisting of US and international media, esteemed customers and partners.

Franz, said: "The Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental is an exceptional aircraft. 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. Lufthansa looks forward to expanding [its] 747-8 Intercontinental service to other US markets in the coming months."

Lund added: "It is such an honour to join Lufthansa in welcoming the 747-8 Intercontinental into service. 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."

Lufthansa's 747-8 Intercontinental is equipped with 362 seats in a three-class configuration (eight First Class, 92 Business Class and 262 Economy Class). Lufthansa's new 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. This enables Lufthansa to fulfill one of the main wishes expressed by customers during an extensive research process - to sit or lie facing the direction of travel, while at the same time enjoying virtually double the distance between two neighboring seats at shoulder level, which now gives Business Class passengers greater privacy and more personal space. At the push of a button, the seat converts to a full-flat, horizontal sleeping surface measuring 6'6" in length (1.98 m). Ergonomically improved cushioning ensures a high degree of comfort in a sitting or horizontal position, and adjustable armrests provide more space in the shoulder area when lying down.

The Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental features new, state-of-the-art wings with improved aerodynamics and raked wing tips; new fuel-efficient, US-manufactured GEnx-2B engines that contribute to a reduction in fuel burn, emissions and noise and thus give customers the lowest operating costs and best economics of any large passenger airplane; and fly-by-wire technology - a system that replaces the conventional manual flight controls.

The aircraft generates a 30% reduced noise footprint than the 747-400 and brings double-digit improvements in fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions per passenger, making it one of the industry's most fuel-efficient aircraft. The 747-8 Intercontinental fuselage is 250 feet long - over 18 feet longer than the 747-400, and providing 26% more cargo volume.

Lufthansa currently has 20 Boeing 747-8 Intercontinentals on order and is expected to take delivery of five in total this year. The airline is to roll-out the Intercontinental to gateways throughout the US and India.

TAGS: aviation

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