LUFTHANSA BECOMES THE SECOND EUROPEAN A380 AIRLINE OPERATOR
A new European airline will be added to the growing list of A380 operators tomorrow when Lufthansa inaugurates revenue service with the Airbus 21st century flagship to Japan’s Narita International Airport near Tokyo.
With this step, Lufthansa joins Air France in flying the double-deck aircraft from Europe to destinations around the world – while also becoming another carrier that serves the Japanese market with the A380.
“After Singapore Airlines’ introduction of A380 operations to Japan and Lufthansa’s service startup this week, Air France will come into the market with the aircraft in September,” said Richard Carcaillet, the Airbus director of A380 Product Marketing. “This is expected to further build what we call ‘the A380 effect,’ when more traffic and higher load factors are attracted to A380 flights.”
To date, European-based airlines have ordered a total 45 A380s, led by Lufthansa’s bookings for 15 aircraft. Air France and British Airways have bought 12 A380s each, with Virgin Atlantic ordering six.
“We believe the numbers of A380s in European airline inventories will increase in the future,” Carcaillet said. “For example, British Airways had more than 50 747-400s until recent years, and they are a strong candidate for future growth in their A380 fleet.”
Lufthansa brought its no. 1 A380 to the opening day of this week’s Berlin Air Show, making a stopover as part of pilot training and route validation activities in preparation for the introduction of revenue service.