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Bush Intercontinental Draws Texas-sized
Crowd for Lufthansa's A380
Houston Airport System upgrades runway and terminal to prepare for
world's largest passenger aircraft
August 6, 2012
Watch video of the A380
||© Houston Airport System|
||Houston is now the only city in Texas to offer scheduled air service featuring the A380 aircraft.|
Mayor Annise Parker declared August 1, 2012, Lufthansa Airlines Day in Houston as she personally welcomed the historic A380 flight to George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) -- a first for any airport in the Lone Star State.
"This A380 flight is a symbol of Houston's thriving economy, our commitment to global enterprise, and our investment in infrastructure," said Mayor Parker. "We worked as a team with our stakeholders to ensure all preparations were completed in Terminal D for today's historic flight by the world's largest passenger jet. This is another indication of the ongoing strength of Bush Intercontinental Airport."
Hundreds of people flocked to Terminal D to catch a glimpse of the A380. The accomplishment is a testament to Houston's spirit of innovation and global strength as an international gateway. Many members of the Houston City Council showed their support of the airport's success by joining Mayor Parker in a ribbon cutting ceremony and a tour of the A380.
Consultants had advised the airport leaders than any preparations needed to begin flights on the A380 would require two years. Yet, the Houston Airport System accomplished all necessary modifications in record time.
"We are extremely excited to introduce our flagship A380 aircraft as the very first in the Houston market," said Juergen Siebenrock, Lufthansa vice-president the Americas. "I applaud the airport's management team for their determination to become A380-ready. It demonstrates our shared commitment to serving the global travel needs of the area's active business community and discerning leisure traveler, while also embracing the environmental advancements of the A380."
Among the improvements made by the Houston Airport System to accommodate the A380 are a new elevated walkway and passenger loading bridge. The airport leaders announced to the inaugural event crowd that all work was performed on time and under budget. Construction crews built new foundations and structure support, electrical updates and the addition of two jet fuel double hydrants in the apron.
"We are thrilled to welcome the A380 to Houston since it offers our customers a heightened flying experience that they will find at no other airport in Texas," said Mario C. Diaz, director of aviation for the Houston Airport System. "Our international traffic continues to grow as a result of the strong business relationships between Houston and Germany and we're delighted to offer a newly renovated area in Terminal D so all who fly on the A380 will enjoy "opening day fresh" gates, waiting areas and other amenities.
Flight LH 441 departs Houston at 4:20 p.m. and arrives in Frankfurt at 9:05 a.m. the following day. Flights are available for booking on www.lufthansa.com.
Facts about the Airbus A380
- World's most fuel efficient aircraft, burning about 12 percent less fuel than other wide-body jets.
- Approximately 30 percent quieter than the current generation of wide-body aircraft.
- Configured with 526 seats, which results in a 53 percent capacity increase on this route.
Located on the upper deck, the new First Class is the quietest cabin in commercial aviation. It operates an air humidification system that improves air humidity to help eliminate jet lag. The cabin's eight ergonomic seats measure 6'9" feet in length and 2'7" feet in width.
The A380 offers the world's largest Business Class cabin with 98 seats, featuring improved functionality, including more storage and a power supply that works with all worldwide connections.
The Economy Class cabin seats 420 passengers and features an in-seat video screen, an optimized ergonomic design and a slimmer seat back that adds two inches of personal space per seat.