Around the World

Miles flown for stories
2014: 269,302
2013: 330,818

Photo Gallery: Lufthansa’s Future Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental Visits Germany

From December 6th to the 9th, one of Boeing 747-8 Intercontinentals, RC021,  was flown to Frankfurt Germany, so that Lufthansa could complete pre-delivery testing at the Frankfurt Airport. Three Lufthansa and two Boeing pilots made the nine hour journey from Seattle to Frankfurt. The aircraft will be the fifth 747-8I that Lufthansa will take delivery of and the first delivery is expected sometime in “early 2012.”

Luckily, Lufthansa took quite a few photos of the Intercontinental’s visit and it is time to share:

HI-RES IMAGE (click for larger). Lufthansa's 5th Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental, RC021, in front of their Technik Repair facility in Frankfurt. Photo by Lufthansa.

HI-RES IMAGE (click for larger). Lufthansa's 5th Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental, RC021, in front of their Technik Repair facility in Frankfurt. Photo by Lufthansa.

HI-RES IMAGE (click for larger). Lufthansa's 5th Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental, RC021, inside the Technik Maintenance facility in Frankfurt. Photo by Lufthansa.

HI-RES IMAGE (click for larger). Lufthansa's 5th Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental, RC021, inside the Technik Maintenance facility in Frankfurt. Photo by Lufthansa.

HI-RES PHOTO (click for larger). The Boeing 747-8I rocks the GEnx-2B67 engine. Photo by Lufthansa.

HI-RES PHOTO (click for larger). The Boeing 747-8I rocks the GEnx-2B67 engine. Photo by Lufthansa.

HI-RES IMAGE (click for larger). The Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental has one sexy backside. Photo by Lufthansa.

HI-RES IMAGE (click for larger). The Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental has one sexy backside. Photo by Lufthansa.

HI-RES IMAGE (click for larger). Nose shot of the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental in Frankfurt. Photo by Lufthansa.
HI-RES IMAGE (click for larger). Nose shot of the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental in Frankfurt. Photo by Lufthansa.

 

HI-RES IMAGE (click for larger). Lufthansa's Technik facility in Frankfurt is HUGE and has a way of making large aircraft look small. Photo by Lufthansa.

HI-RES IMAGE (click for larger). Lufthansa's Technik facility in Frankfurt is HUGE and has a way of making large aircraft look small. Photo by Lufthansa.

HI-RES IMAGE (click for larger). The Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental on the tarmac in Frankfurt. Photo by Lufthansa.

HI-RES IMAGE (click for larger). The Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental on the tarmac in Frankfurt. Photo by Lufthansa.

OTHER GOOD RELATED STUFF:
* Photos of Boeing 747-8I in full Lufthansa livery
* My tour of the Technik Maintenance facility and an Airbus A380
* Reveal, first flight and more of the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental
* Photo of two Lufthansa Airbus A380s and one Boeing 747-400 Dreamlifter in the Technik facility 

My Review: Flying a Lufthansa Airbus A330 to Frankfurt

Lufthansa Airbus A330 at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) waiting to go to Frankfurt (FRA).

Lufthansa Airbus A330 at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) waiting to go to Frankfurt (FRA).

Recently I had the opportunity to fly from Seattle (SEA) to Frankfurt, Germany (FRA) on a Lufthansa Airbus A330 in Business Class. This was my first Lufthansa A330 flight and figured it is time to do a review. I was flown to Germany by the airline to experience the first Airbus A380 flight from Frankfurt to Miami, but getting there is half the fun.

I felt a lot of pressure to get some rest on the flight over to FRA since I was only spending 24hrs there before heading back to the US. Flying in a premium seat better prepares a passenger to arrive well rested and ready to go — something I needed, but never got. The down side of flying in a premium seat, at least for me, is I want to enjoy the experience and I fight sleeping through it.

On the day of the flight, I decided to leave home early to get to the airport. Although Lufthansa does not have their own lounge at SEA, they share one with British Airways in the S-Terminal. I was able to hang out in the lounge for about three hours with free drinks and snacks until my flight was ready to board — never a bad way to spend an afternoon.

What flight can be complete with out a winglet shot. There are so many business class seats, they go to the wing.

What flight can be complete with out a winglet shot?There are so many business class seats, they go to the wing.

Lufthansa flies from Seattle to Frankfurt daily and is the only flight they operate out of Seattle. The great thing about only operating one flight per day is the aircraft was already sitting at the airport and we boarded and departed right on time. I remember the days when an Airbus A340 flew the route (not exactly sure of the dates) but today they have the A330. Luckily for us aviation nerds you can still catch the Air France A340 that flies to Seattle.

Once you get to cruising altitude on a wide bodied airliner, it is easy to forget you are flying. Most people shut their window (even me, I know, I know) to better view your in-flight entertainment screens . A flight on a wide body airliner is just a different experience, even in economy, allowing less of a closed-in feeling. Half way across the ocean, I couldn’t help but stop and realize how amazing it was traveling from Seattle to Frankfurt in just under ten hours. To think what that trip would have entailed just 100 years ago to accomplish the same task makes me happy that airlines offer a much better solution.

The seats provided quite a bit of room and there was a pretty good selection of entertainment, but I wished there was a bit more privacy between me and the person next to me. I have no problem sleeping in economy in standard seats, but when I am lying flat, I feel a bit more exposed and would enjoy more privacy. I also wish the TV screen was closer, since, when lounging back, the screen got  smaller. I ran out of movies I wanted to watch on the flight over there, but luckily my flight back was on the A380, which had additional options for me to enjoy.

Yum! This was one of three courses. Being served in glasses with the airline's logo is a nice touch. Yes, I was watching a movie with Matt Damon.

Yum! This was one of three courses. Being served in glasses with the airline's logo is a nice touch. Yes, I was watching a movie with Matt Damon.

Up in Business Class, one has ample choices for food during your long trip. There is an appetizer, entree and desert and for each category, you have three choices. I decided on the, “chilled honey roasted Chicken Breast with water crest salad and cranberries, then Zinfandel braised short ribs with garlic mashed potatoes and baby carrots and finally finished it up with sage derby, gruyere and cambozola cheese.” The food quality is what would be expected from an international business class experience. I only wish there were more offerings of German in nature. If possible, I prefer to have the cuisine of the airline’s home country versus standard fare. Back in economy, they didn’t have it too shabby either. They didn’t have all the choices, but at least they were still getting meals that looked pretty decent for airline food and it was all free (well included in the price of the ticket).

I know this is silly and really not a reason to choose an airline, but Lufthansa’s warm wash cloths that are handed out at the beginning of the flight and before the meal, smelled amazing. I can’t even tell you what the smell was like, but if they made that into an air freshener I would definitely get it.

After meal service almost everyone in the front of the plane went to sleep. I tried, but it just wasn’t happening. I even took part of a sleeping pill (something I do not usually do while flying), but I never got tired. This was bad news because when we landed it was midnight my time, but 9am local time and I had a full day of events to participate in. I welcomed jet-lag with open arms.

One reason I think I couldn’t sleep was it never got dark outside. The concept was pretty cool, but not getting any sleep wasn’t so cool. Yea, sure, the shades were all down, but mentally, I knew the light was there. Even the eye mask can’t stop the mental sunlight getting in.

When arriving in Frankfurt, we had to take a 10 minute bus ride back to the terminal.

When arriving in Frankfurt, we had to take a 10 minute bus ride back to the terminal.

Once we landed I was confused when we started taxiing away from the airport. I had forgotten that Frankfurt has many airline parking spaces where buses take people to and from the terminal. This was a bonus for me, being able to de-plane on the tarmac, then taking a five minute bus ride through the airport, but I could see how that would be a huge annoyance for people who are not into planes. I really wouldn’t want to ride an airplane for 10 hours, then get stuck on an even more crowded bus. You better believe the first class passengers are not riding the bus; many get a private Mercedes or Porsche to take them to the terminal.

Lufthansa also has an arrival lounge at FRA, but I was tired and in need of a shower, so I headed out of the airport and to my hotel. The flight went quick and was a great combination of comfort, high-end service and entertainment. I can’t wait until the next international flight.

CHECK OUT MORE PHOTOS OF THE TRIP

Photo Tour of an Airbus A380 at Lufthansa Technik in Frankfurt

The massive Technik hangar makes the large Airbus A380 look small.

The massive Technik hangar makes the large Airbus A380 look small.

How do you make the Airbus A380, the world’s largest airliner, look small? Put it into the Lufthansa Technik Hangar in Frankfurt Germany that’s how. While in Frankfurt for a 24 hour spiel to celebrate Lufthansa’s first Airbus A380 flight from Frankfurt to Miami, I had a chance to go check out where maintenance is done on the A380.

The Airbus A380 actually sits relatively low, but has lots of wheels.

The Airbus A380 actually sits relatively low, but has lots of wheels.

At the time, I have seen the A380 at a distance and even got to tour the inside. But this was my first opportunity to walk around the aircraft on the outside. It is surreal how tall it is standing next to it, but how at the same time it is so close to the ground. I am 6’1″ tall and my head was touching the bottom of the aircraft when taking the photo above. Closer towards the main landing gear, there is even less head room. From ground to tail, the A380 is about eight stories tall and just the fuselage is about three.

This A380 (D-AIMG) was just having minor work done and I saw her back at Frankfurt Airport the next day ready to fly.

This A380 (D-AIMG) was just having minor work done and I saw her back at Frankfurt Airport the next day ready to fly.

Lufthansa Technik Group is compiled of 30 companies world-wide that help keep Lufthansa and many other aircraft operational. Lufthansa Technik has the ability to perform checks at 60 airports around the world and they are organized into six different operational groups which serve about 750 customers worldwide: Maintenance, Overhaul, Component Services, Engine Services, VIP Services and Landing Gear Services.

Three "out holes" for the A380. The larger ones vent out air, the center will vent liquid.
Three “out holes” for the A380. The larger ones vent out air, the center will vent liquid.

Before Lufthansa took delivery of their first Airbus A380, two large facilities were built for Lufthansa Technik to handle the new aircraft. One was in Frankfurt and the other is located in Beijing. The facility in Frankfurt was completed in December of 2007 and measures about 590 x 460 feet. The hangar is large enough to hold two Airbus A380s and one Dreamlifter as was proven not too long ago.

Can you tell where the fuel tanks are located in the wing of the A380?

Can you tell where the fuel tanks are located in the wing of the A380?

Obviously the Airbus A380 can hold a lot of fuel — about 85,000 gallons worth. Unlike most other aircraft, no fuel is stored in the fuselage and it is all stored in the wings. During the tour I was wondering how I had dripping water on my head and realized that I was being rained on via the condensation from the fuel tanks in the wings.

 

How would you like to climb around the A380 tail? I wanted to, but they said something about liability.

How would you like to climb around the A380 tail? I wanted to, but they said something about liability.

Buying the aircraft and building the hangar is just part of the process. Lufthansa Technik also had to get the tools, parts and people to make it complete. The facility has more than 70,000 parts in their inventory ranging from screws to engines. Outside the hangar there is a jet testing area, which was in use during our visit (but could not take photos since it was a non-Lufthansa aircraft).

This is where the pilots can get a little shut eye during flight.

This is where the pilots can get a little shut eye during flight.

During the tour of the facility we were able to get on board D-AIMG to take a look around. Since I was about to take a 10 hour flight in an A380 in a few hours, I decided to hang out more in the front of the aircraft by the cockpit. Lufthansa’s A380 are designed so there is an external door that leads to a crew sleeping area and lavatory for the flight crew. The crew rest area was actually the largest I have seen in an aircraft and didn’t feel as claustrophobic as others.

Where all the action happens. Hard to believe this large aircraft is controlled by a little joystick.

Where all the action happens. Hard to believe this large aircraft is controlled by a little joystick.

Some folks think first class is the best seat in the house. Although they are nice, they cannot compare to the seats in the cockpit. The cockpit is very roomy and it is hard to get a feeling of the true size of the aircraft. The flight deck is located in the middle of the aircraft, which doesn’t give it the sense of height that the cockpit in the Boeing 747-400 has.

CHECK OUT ALL 19 PHOTOS FROM THE LUFTHANSA TECHNIK TOUR

Condor Airlines Starts Flights from Seattle to Frankfurt


All photos by David Lilienthal / NYCAviation.com – Click any for larger version

Condor Airlines, a low-frills airline based in Germany, commenced their first Seattle (SEA) to Frankfurt (FRA) flight yesterday using a Boeing 767-300ER (D-ABUB). The first flight, arrived about 4:00pm PST and was greeted by a water canon salute and a celebration at the South Terminal.

The new flight will commence twice per week and offer three classes of service: 18 seats in Comfort Class, 35 seats in Premium Economy (with 6 inches additional legroom) and 217 in economy. Condor will provide competition for Lufthansa who currently flies daily between Seattle and Frankfurt.

Seattle becomes Condor’s fifth destination in the US after Anchorage, Fairbanks, Fort Lauderdale and Las Vegas. Seattle has seen 6.7% increase in international traffic this year compared to 2010 and expects to see 23% more seats this summer to Europe versus last. Seattle currently operates flights to 19 foreign destinations that are served by 11 airlines.

“This new airline service will generate local jobs, provide more choices for travelers from Seattle to Europe, and provides capacity for air cargo between Seattle and Europe,” said Mike Ehl, Director of Operations at Seattle Tacoma International Airport. “We welcome Condor Airlines as part of our growth in international traffic.”

Condor Airline’s is Germany’s second largest airline and provides flights from Germany to mostly leisure destinations. The airline operates a fleet of 34 aircraft including the Boeing 757-300, Boeing 767-300ER and Airbus A320.

This story was a joint effort between AirlineReporter.com and NYCAviation.com

Photo Tour of Lufthansa’s Exclusive First Class Terminal at Frankfurt

Lufthansa's first class terminal in Frankfurt is separate from the main airport.

Lufthansa's first class terminal in Frankfurt is separate from the main airport.

There are many international airlines that have first class lounges, but not many who have a whole terminal just for passengers flying first class. Lufthansa’s First Class Terminal in Frankfurt, Germany is as about as exclusive as one can get flying scheduled airline service. This is not an area you can buy a day pass for and you won’t even have access if you upgrade to first class. You either have to pay full fare for your international first class ticket or you have to have HON circle status, meaning you fly 600,000 miles over a two year period. I recently had a special tour of the terminal and wanted to share the experience.

There are many areas inside the lounge to relax or do business.

There are many areas inside the lounge to relax or do business.

Everything can be done for a passenger in the first class terminal — they even have their own security. The terminal is exclusive, but there are still about 200-300 passengers that will go through the lounge everyday. No worries, there are plenty of different spaces they can relax or do their business.

Want a drink? The Lufthansa bar has you covered.

Want a drink? The Lufthansa bar has you covered.

The bar area has 86 different kinds of whiskey for customers. There also were a few jars of different candy (seen at the end of the bar) which added a nice touch.

Want to get some grub before your flight -- no problem. Although I probably wouldn't call it "grub."

Want to get some grub before your flight -- no problem. Although I probably wouldn't call it "grub."

Right next to the bar is an eating area, where guests can order and eat food for free. Well, they did have to pay for that first class ticket, but once you are inside the walls of the first class terminal food and drinks are on the house.

Cigar lounge and mini-bar. Hmm, don't see that in most clubs.

Cigar lounge and mini-bar. Hmm, don't see that in most clubs.

If the bar area becomes a bit too crowded for your taste, right across the hall is a cigar lounge with its own mini-bar. I wonder how many business deals have been done in this area.

Eh, why take a shower when you can take a bath?

Eh, why take a shower when you can take a bath?

Many airline clubs are proud to state they have shower facilities available. Well, Lufthansa offers not only showers, but also full baths. And yes, that is a yellow rubber ducky on the edge of the bath and yes it has “Lufthansa” on it (photo) — now that is frek’n class.

Want to get a little nap in during your layover -- no problem.

Want to get a little nap in during your layover -- no problem.

After having a few helpings of whiskey and finishing a cigar, one can get a little sleepy. Passengers are able to get a private room and catch a few z’s before their flight.

For someone who loves airlines and nice cars, this is the perfect blend.

For someone who loves airlines and nice cars, this is the perfect blend.

Waiting at the gate, waiting for your row to be called is so for peons. When it is time to board your flight, someone will come get you and then you will be driven in either a Mercedes S500, Porsche Panamera or Porsche Cayenne. You will be chauffeured right to your plane where you can board to the first class cabin. That means you can make your own trip without even having to look at someone in business class, little alone economy. That is great for folks who want a little privacy.

For those select few who are able to use such an amenity, what a wonderful way to travel. For those who always say travelling is not what it used to be, this is a much better way to travel than it used to be, but it will just cost you a few bucks. For example, flying from New York to Frankfurt in Lufthansa first class will cost about $16,000.00 or Seattle to Frankfurt for about $20,000.00. But, of course if you have to ask how much it will cost, you probably can’t afford it.

VIEW A FEW MORE PHOTOS OF LUFTHANSA’S FIRST CLASS TERMINAL