IATA AGM: Lufthansa high profile in Berlin with A380 First Class debut

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Host airline Lufthansa will be high profile in the Berlin area this week as it takes centre stage at the city's aviation festival with its latest acquisition.

The airline's first Airbus A380 makes its public debut at the ILA show on Tuesday and while the graceful flypasts will be wowing the hundreds of thousands of spectators expected to attend the Berlin-Schönefeld event, it will be the reaction to the interior of the aircraft that chairman and chief executive Wolfgang Mayrhuber will be most interested in.

The German carrier has involved its customers throughout the design phase of the three-cabin interior and many will get the chance to see the finished-article over the next few days. It is configured to take just 526 seats rather than the anticipated 550.

lufthansa a380 first class cabin, lufthansa
 © Lufthansa

Mayrhuber says, "We have developed many technical solutions for the cabin design and furnishings which are being given a world premiere in this aircraft. Our innovations in terms of cabin air, light systems and inflight entertainment make our A380 unique."

wolfgang mayrhuber, lufthansa
"Our innovations in terms of cabin air, light systems and inflight entertainment make our A380 unique"
Wolfgang Mayrhuber
Chief executive, Lufthansa

The main focus for customers will be on an entirely new First Class cabin with eight seats on the upper deck reflecting the concept of individuality

A concept with separate cabins was deliberately rejected when customers involved in the development expressed a clear preference for an open-plan design. But the end result is a flexible privacy screen, allowing customers to determine the degree of individual privacy they desire.

Mayrhuber says that at the outset, customer experiences and wishes were integrated into the design. A quiet atmosphere was one of the most important needs. So sound-absorbing curtains partition off the rest of the cabin, while special sound-insulating material in the aircraft's outer skin and sound-absorbing carpeting block footstep noise to deliver what Lufthansa claims is the the world's quietest First Class cabin.

In the cabin, overhead bins were omitted in order to provide more headroom. Instead, each passenger has an individual lockable closet and instead of just a washroom with a lavatory, first class passengers have a luxurious bathroom with wash and changing areas separated from the lavatory area.

After displaying at ILA on Tuesday the A380 will be prepared to begin scheduled service on Friday when it begins routes to Beijing and Johannesburg.