Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental to Serve as Lufthansa’s Flagship Aircraft

By Paul Riegler on 29 September 2020
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The upper deck of a Lufthansa Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental

Deutsche Lufthansa, which previously announced plans to retire over 150 aircraft including its A380 superjumbo fleet, said that its flagship going forward will be the Boeing 747, specifically the 747-8 Intercontinental.

The 747-8 will be “our flagship… after the crisis,” said the airline’s CEO, Carsten Spohr, speaking at the World Aviation Festival, calling them “the most efficient aircraft” in the carrier’s fleet.

Lufthansa currently has 19 747-8s as well as eight 747-400s, which it will phase out by 2025.

The 747-8 is Boeing’s largest aircraft and is bigger, quieter, and more efficient compared to earlier 747 models.  It uses much of the same technology that is found in the 787 Dreamliner, and has all-new wing and engine designs.

In addition, the Boeing 747-8 is the largest commercial aircraft built in the U.S. and, at 250.3 feet (76.3 meters), is also the longest passenger aircraft in the world, having wrestled that title from the Airbus A340-600, which lost out by roughly three feet, or 0.91 meters.

Lufthansa’s 747-8s can accommodate 364 passengers in a four-class configuration.  There are eight suites in the first-class cabin, 80 seats in business class including 32 seats in the all-business class upper deck, 32 recliner seats in premium economy, and 244 seats in coach.

The 747 came about thanks to the vision of Pan Am’s president in the 1960s, Juan Trippe, who saw the potential economies of scale that would cut the seat-per-mile cost of air travel by a third. Trippe called the 747 “a great weapon for peace, competing with intercontinental missiles for mankind’s destiny.”

Once it had been launched, airlines extolled the virtues of the new wonder plane, emphasizing two prominent aspects of the aircraft: its size and the amenities it offered.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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