A Lufthansa A380 was today named “Johannesburg” by Mrs Nomvula Mokonyane, the Premier of South Africa’s Gauteng province. The official ceremony took place at OR Tambo International Airport in the presence of Councillor Parks Tau, the Executive Mayor of Johannesburg, who unveiled the name on the aircraft’s fuselage. Following the naming ceremony, the aircraft departed for a scenic flight to the Cape Town area, performing a low overflight of the city and Table Mountain.
Johannesburg, 28 June 2011
In a festive ceremony at OR Tambo International Airport, a Lufthansa Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger airplane, was named “Johannesburg” by Mrs Nomvula Mokonyane, the Premier of South Africa’s Gauteng province. Councillor Parks Tau, the Executive Mayor of Johannesburg proudly unveiled the South African city’s name on the aircraft fuselage, assisted by Mr Kay Kratky, member of the Lufthansa German Airlines Board, who is responsible for the airline’s Frankfurt and Flight Operations division.
Following the naming ceremony, the aircraft departed for a scenic flight to the Western Cape, performing a low overflight of Cape Town and the Table Mountain to greet residents and A380 fans. The “Johannesburg” was piloted by Captain Jürgen Raps.
“Our A380 bears the name of Johannesburg as a symbol of friendship between Germany and South Africa. It will travel the world as an ambassador for intercultural understanding, bridging continents and connecting people”, said Kay Kratky. “We would also like to use this opportunity to express our gratitude towards our customers and partners in South Africa. Without their loyalty and support we would not be here today”, he added.
Johannesburg became Lufthansa’s third A380 destination in September 2010, right after Tokyo and Beijing. Meanwhile, New York, San Francisco and Miami have been added as further destinations served by Lufthansa’s new flagship. As of 30 October, when the winter timetable goes into effect, Lufthansa will operate a daily A380 service on its Frankfurt-Singapore route as well, bringing the number of A380 destinations to seven.
“Customers traveling to and from South Africa have been experiencing our new flagship on the Johannesburg-Frankfurt service for over nine months and the feedback we receive is very positive”, said Axel Simon, Luft¬hansa’s Director for Southern Africa. “I am delighted that we can serve a South African destination with this plane, building on the foundation we laid almost 50 years ago, with our first flight to Johannesburg in 1962”, he added.
The “Johannesburg” offers the latest in aircraft technology and comfort. The A380 is efficient, environmentally-friendly and, with its low noise level, not only pleasant for the passengers, but also reducing noise emissions at heavily-used airports like Johannesburg and Frankfurt. Cabin comfort, economic efficiency and the environmental performance of the Airbus A380 are setting the benchmark today.
In its Lufthansa configuration, the Airbus A380 has a total of 526 seats. The new First Class with eight luxurious seats in a sleek design on the upper deck stands for individuality, superior comfort and technical innovation, making air travel even more pleasant. Also on the upper deck is the Lufthansa Business Class with 98 seats. On the main deck 420 newly developped seats offer more comfort than ever in Economy Class, too.
Lufthansa had launched its scheduled operations between Germany and South Africa on May 14, 1962 with a Boeing 720B. The flight’s routing at the time went from Frankfurt via Athens, Khartoum and Nairobi to Johannesburg. In 1972, Lufthansa introduced the Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet on the route, the then largest passenger aircraft. In 2010, some 38 years later, the Boeing 747-400 was replaced by the Airbus A380, further boosting seat capacity on the route by almost 60%. Johannesburg is also served by Lufthansa subsidiary Swiss International Air Lines, which offers a daily flight to its Zurich hub in Switzerland. In 1994, Cape Town was added to Lufthansa’s destination portfolio. Cape Town is served with a daily non-stop flight during the South African summer months.
With 127 destinations served in Europe and more than 200 globally, Lufthansa and SWISS provide South Africa with an attractive destination portfolio, complementing the network of Star Alliance partner South African Airways (SAA) and providing travelers to and from South Africa with best connections to the world. Lufthansa was instrumental in bringing SAA into Star Alliance in 2006. Lufthansa and SAA customers benefit from code share connections on more than three dozen routes in Southern Africa and Europe.
Today Lufthansa Group is strongly represented in South Africa. In addition to Lufthansa German Airlines and its subsidiary Swiss International Air Lines, Lufthansa Cargo, Global TeleSales, Global Load Control, LSG Sky Chefs and AirPlus all have a presence in South Africa. In total, Lufthansa Group has created more than 1’300 jobs in South Africa.
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