Lufthansa’s “Queen Of The Skies” Debuts At Athens International Airport
German carrier Lufthansa’s “Queen of the Skies” or B747-8 aircraft, made its debut flight from Germany today, 18 June, and touched down at Athens International Airport “Eleftherios Venizelos.”
The B747-8 is the largest aircraft ever produced by Boeing and the longest passenger aircraft in the world now in production.
At 12 noon, the new flagship aircraft landed under Lufthansa livery for the first time in Greece, one of the most promising markets of Southern Europe, in the presence of many distinguished guests.
Sending a message of optimism and friendship throughout the world, Lufthansa chose Athens to present the longest aircraft in the world, this way highlighting the importance of the Greek market for the German company.
In 2012, more than 1.2 million passengers traveled to and from Greece via Lufthansa, an increase of five percent compared with 2011. According to Lufthansa, the outlook for 2013 is very positive.
Greek Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni attended the ceremony and underlined that the German company’s choice to land the B747-8 in Athens is proof of the airline’s commitment and belief in the Greek aviation market.
“During the 54 years of Lufthansa’s operation in Greece, the company has contributed to successfully connect Greece not only with the key market of Germany, but also with a wide network and its connections with markets that have very strong ties with Greeks, such as North America,” Mrs. Kefalogianni said.
“Lufthansa has contributed essentially in enhancing socio-economic and cultural ties,” she added.
During the welcoming ceremony, guests had the opportunity to inspect the modern aircraft and see the comfortable cabin and luxurious interior, including the new Business Class with the new Recaro Comfort Line 3520 seats that convert to full-flat, horizontal sleeping surfaces.
The B747-8 is an upgraded, elongated version of the classic and legendary 747. Its spacious cabin reportedly seats 358 passengers, compared to Boeing’s standard 467 – with eight seats in first-class, 92 in business and 258 in economy.
Lufthansa is the first -and up until now- the only commercial airline to deploy the new 747-8 on long-range, intercontinental routes, putting the first ones into service between Frankfurt and Washington DC., New Delhi, Bangalore, Hong Kong, Los Angeles and Miami.