Lufthansa: First A380 with new Business Class handed over in Hamburg

Successful start to the refit of the ‘megaliner’ for Lufthansa Technik / Including new deliveries, a quarter of the A380 fleet now has the new Business Class

A key milestone in the accelerated programme to fit the new Business Class was reached today in Hamburg. Lufthansa Technik handed over the first of the ten Airbus A380s to be modified to Lufthansa German Airlines. The Business Class that is being introduced with the Boeing 747-8 offers exceptional comfort both when lying and sitting, and has an integrated air-cushion system, intuitive controls, additional storage space and an innovative entertainment system with larger 15″ screens. At the push of a button, seats can be converted into comfortable, fully flat beds measuring 1.98 metres in length.

“2014 will be a good year for our customers – Lufthansa’s biggest service initiative of the past few years is becoming an everyday reality in more and more aircraft. The high-speed completion of our aircraft, today the first A380, with the most modern cabin in all classes is the highly visible proof that we are systematically realising our goal of becoming a leader in the exclusive circle of 5-star airlines”, said Jens Bischof, member of the Lufthansa German Airlines Board – Sales, Product and Marketing – when the aircraft arrived at Frankfurt Airport. “In summer 2015, we will be offering the new Business Class on all 106 of our intercontinental aircraft. Out of a total of 7,000 new Business Class seats, more than 1,000 will then be available on board the A380 fleet.”

The Airbus A380-800 just delivered, which has the tail number D-AIMB, was one of two planes to be handed over to Lufthansa for the first time on 19 July 2010, and was named ‘Munich’ nine days later. Since then, the ‘Mike Bravo’ has completed more than 1,546 flights and clocked up 6.6 million miles, the equivalent of flying around the world 308 times.

Two new Airbus A380s to be delivered in April, taking the total fleet to twelve aircraft
Also today, the eleventh A380 for Lufthansa took off from the Airbus site in Hamburg-Finkenwerder for its transfer flight to Frankfurt. Along with another aircraft scheduled for delivery, it will be fitted with the new Business Class ex-works. This means that Lufthansa will be operating a total of twelve Airbus A380s in April, with the planned fleet strength set to reach 14 next year. The 2014 summer flight timetable includes the destinations Shanghai, Beijing (China), San Francisco, Houston, Miami, New York (USA), Johannesburg (South Africa) and Singapore; all to be flown by the Lufthansa A380 family.

After the refit, a total of 92 seats will be available in the new Business Class, which is still situated in the top deck. They will be laid out in a 2-2-2 configuration. The number of eight First Class and 420 Economy Class seats has not changed, so altogether there will be 520 seats on board.

Lufthansa Technik: key centre of excellence for cabin modifications
For Lufthansa Technik, the ‘Mike Bravo’ was the prelude to nine further refits, which will primarily be carried out at the company’s headquarters in Hamburg. A total of 30,000 engineering hours were required before the first delivery, carried out in close coordination with Airbus in Hamburg and Toulouse. The documentation for this initial modification runs to more than 5,000 pages. In future, Lufthansa Technik is anticipating an average idle period per aircraft of 28 days and 13,000 working hours. Along with the installation of the new Business Class, the aircraft will also get FlyNet, the Wi-Fi broadband internet access for Lufthansa long-haul routes – here, too, Lufthansa Technik did pioneering work on the Airbus A380.

“Today’s delivery is also an outstanding event for our cabin modification services. Having completed several aircraft in the Airbus A330/A340 fleet, this is the first time that we have modified an A380 and had it certified. More than 30 airlines already trust Lufthansa Technik’s design, certification and production expertise. This is something we want to build on, not least because Hamburg as an aviation centre and the Lufthansa Technik group are so strong in this area”, said Dr Johannes Bußmann, member of the Lufthansa Technik Executive Board, HR, Engine & VIP Services, shortly before the aircraft took off from Hamburg Airport.

Business Class with a more individualised service
Not only the seats in Business Class, but also the in-flight service will be the focus of important improvements in 2014. A more personal touch in the service provided and greater flexibility in terms of processes as a whole should make passengers feel even more pampered than before. The current in-flight service on long-haul routes will be enhanced, with the introduction of a signature service. The aim is to provide a service that reminds passengers of being in a top restaurant. The new aspects will be tested this summer and, if successful, will be implemented on the entire long-haul network from 2015. From as early as August 2014, the amenity kits provided in Business Class will also be upgraded.

New Premium Economy Class means greater travel choice and more comfort
As of summer 2015, Lufthansa’s A380 fleet will also have the new Premium Economy Class, for which a high-quality seat has been developed that offers much greater comfort and up to 50 per cent more room in this class. Tickets for the initial flights will be available for sale in May, and the first flight is planned for October. The first aircraft to feature the new travel class will be the Boeing 747-8. The refit, which is also being carried out by Lufthansa Technik, should be completed by the end of 2015, and the cabins of the long-haul fleet will then have a total of 3,600 Premium Economy seats.


Source / Author: Deutsche Lufthansa AG / Communications Lufthansa German Airlines

Photo: Lufthansa