Airbus Delivers Lufthansa’s First A380

 - May 19, 2010, 8:08 AM

Lufthansa took delivery today of its first Airbus A380 during a handover ceremony in Hamburg, Germany, making it the fifth customer to have taken possession of at least one of the superjumbos. It holds a firm order for 15 of the Rolls-Royce Trent 900-powered transports, four of which it expects to join its fleet this year. Lufthansa plans to deploy its new flagship aircraft on routes to Tokyo, Beijing and Johannesburg.

Today’s ceremony marked the delivery of the 28th A380 to roll out of the final assembly line in Toulouse, France. The current A380 fleet–now operating with Dubai’s Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Air France and Australia’s Qantas connects 21 international routes on five continents. Seventeen major international airports have become regular A380 destinations.

During the handover ceremony in Hamburg, Lufthansa unveiled its new first-class cabin, featuring eight seats on the upper deck. The upper deck also contains 98 business seats while the main deck holds 420 seats in an economy-class layout.

Over the past five years, the A380 underwent several airport compatibility tests at Lufthansa’s home base in Frankfurt. In cabin safety evacuation tests, Lufthansa cabin crews successfully evacuated 873 people in just 78 seconds. Lufthansa also served as a major partner during initial ground-based “virtual” flights and on the first real long-range route-proving flights.

The A380 fleet has so far logged more than 130,000 flight hours carrying more than 5 million passengers on more than 14,000 commercial flights. Airbus has received firm orders from 17 airlines for 202 A380s.