World's largest passenger airliner A380 guested Copenhagen Airport
Thursday 16, September 2010
An Airbus 380 landed in Denmark for the first time ever at 8.18 am on 15 September. The Danish media and other aviation buffs were on the spot in force as the huge and rare 'bird' prepared to land at Copenhagen Airport. Copenhagen was Lufthansa's first destination en route to a total of four major Scandinavian airports.
'On a normal day, Lufthansa lands seven times in Copenhagen, but today is the first time we're landing an Airbus A380 in Denmark. It's an amazing feeling to touch down here and see how well prepared Copenhagen Airport is for our arrival,' said Jürgen Raps, Lufthansa's chief pilot and executive board member for operations.
The Airbus 380 aircraft at Copenhagen today is one of four the airline has purchased for delivery in 2010. With room for 526 passengers on board, the A380 is the largest passenger airliner in the world. Lufthansa will be deploying theirs for the carrier's routes to Tokyo, Beijing and Johannesburg. By 2015, the airline will have a total of 15 Airbus A380s in its fleet.
'Scandinavia is one of the most important markets in the world for Lufthansa. To bring our flagship over today is also our way of saying "thank you" to Denmark for hosting us for more than 50 years,' says Julius Petersen, Lufthansa's general manager for Scandinavia.
Wingspan of almost 80 metres
At this point in time, it is not germane for Copenhagen Airport or the airlines to begin using A380s for regularly scheduled flights. In the first place, it would necessitate adding runway width; secondly, passengers are better served by more frequent flights to their destinations. To allow today's visit from its distinguished wide-bodied guest, the airport swept the areas along Runway 22L/04R with magnets to prevent so-called 'blast damage' to the aircraft's engines.
'The Airbus 380 has a wingspan of almost 80 metres, which means that the outermost engines on its wings hang out over the edges of the runway at Copenhagen. In other words, Runway 22L/04R would need about 50 thousand more square metres of tarmac than it has today: that's an area slightly larger than seven football pitches put together. Maybe it doesn't sound like much, but Copenhagen Airport already has a total of three million square metres paved with tarmac or concrete today,' says Søren Hedegaard Nielsen, head of media relations at Copenhagen Airports A/S.
Smaller, more frequent flights are a better fit for Copenhagen
Aircraft such as the Airbus 330/340, the Boeing 777 or Boeing's future Dreamliner are much more relevant at Copenhagen Airport, which serves a regional population of about four million people, according to Nielsen.
'These are airliners with a capacity of about 250 or 300 passengers, and that's the size the airlines can fill up on our intercontinental routes to destinations such as New York, Washington, Chicago, Tokyo, Beijing and Bangkok,' Nielsen explained.
In an absolutely exceptional manoeuvre, Lufthansa concluded its visit to Copenhagen by executing a fly-over of the airport at an altitude of just 50 metres.
Fly-bye, A380. Fly-bye.
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