Lufthansa takes second A380, while 747s ply short-haul

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German flag-carrier Lufthansa has taken delivery of its second Airbus A380 as it prepares to transfer some of its Boeing 747-400s temporarily to domestic trunk services.

Lufthansa put its first A380 into service last month and the airline is planning to take four in 2010. It has been using the type on services previously operated by 747-400s.

The airline is opting temporarily to place some of its 747 capacity on busy domestic connections, a decision it attributes to increased demand.

For a period of around three weeks in September it will operate the aircraft on the routes between Frankfurt, Munich and Berlin.

Lufthansa normally uses Airbus A320-family aircraft on these high-frequency services.

A spokesman for the carrier cites "high demand on certain routes" for the switch of intercontinental and continental capacity, adding that only a few of the weekly frequencies will be involved.

He insists that the airline is not short of either aircraft or crews for the routes, although he points out that Lufthansa no longer has access to the Airbus A300 which it previously operated on high-density connections.

The 747-400s are not being used for pilot training, he adds, because Lufthansa is not expanding its 747 fleet.

Air France has been using its own high-capacity Airbus A380s on the short route between Paris Charles de Gaulle and London Heathrow over the past few weeks.

Airbus has also delivered an A380 to Singapore Airlines today, taking its fleet to 11, and bringing the overall in-service total to 33. The airframer is halfway to 20 deliveries this year and says it is "on track" to reach its target.