Lufthansa takes first Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental

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Star Alliance carrier Lufthansa today took possession of its inaugural 747-8 Intercontinental, marking the first delivery of the type to a passenger airline.

Certified in December, the GEnx-2B-powered aircraft, list priced at $333 million, features an 8,000nm (14,816km) range and capacity for 467 passengers in a three-class cabin.

Lufthansa will launch services with the 747-8I later this year between Frankfurt and Washington-Dulles, Los Angeles and Chicago-O'Hare. The aircraft will be configured with 362 seats, including 262 in economy class, 92 in business and eight in first class. The carrier was the launch customer for the type, and has 20 aircraft on order.

 lufthansa 747-8i, joe walker gallery on airspace

 ©JOE WALKER

"After working together for many years, we are very pleased to have the newest generation of four-engine aircraft join our fleet," says Christoph Franz, chief executive officer of Deutsche Lufthansa AG.

Boeing says Lufthansa employees are conducting "airline-specific preparations" to get the airplane ready for a 1 May flight from Seattle to its permanent home base in Frankfurt.

The airframer in February delivered the first 747-8I to an unnamed VIP customer.

Compared to the 747-400, Boeing says the 747-8I will provide double-digit improvements in fuel burn and emissions and 30% less noise.

Boeing plans to deliver approximately 35 to 43 total Boeing 747-8I and 747-8F freighter aircraft this year. The company certified the 747-8F in August and made first delivery to Cargolux in October.