Tokyo Governor Ishihara acts as godfather – Airline reinforces its position as Europe’s number One in Asia
The Governor of Tokyo, Shintaro Ishihara, and Christoph Franz, Chairman of the Executive Board and Chief Executive Officer Deutsche Lufthansa AG, officially launched an Airbus A380 with the name “Tokyo”. The official ceremony took place at Narita Airport on the 150th anniversary of the signing of the first German-Japanese treaty of friendship on 24 January 1861 (at that time Prussia) and on the 50th anniversary of the first Lufthansa flight to Japan on 24 January 1961.
As a result, the latest A380s delivered to Lufthansa with the registration D-AIMD and christened Tokyo, will now serve the airports of Frankfurt and the Japanese metropolis of Tokyo. The Japanese capital has already been the worldwide first Lufthansa-A380 destination since 10 June 2010. Meanwhile, Beijing and Johannesburg have been added as further destinations. As of the end of February, New York will become Lufthansa’s fourth A380 destination.
"Our passengers have been flying on our Tokyo service for more than seven months in our new flagship and the enthusiasm for this aircraft and all the innovations associated with it is still as great as it was on the first day", said Lufthansa chief Christoph Franz. “I am really delighted that with our A380 in the Japanese market, in particular, we have been able to further build upon our success and I am grateful for the support of our customers, partners as well as the state institutions. It is a great pleasure and honour, together with Governor Shintaro Ishihara and Germany’s Ambassador to Japan, Dr. Volker Stanzel, on this historic day to christen our flagship with the name ‘Tokyo’.
The official ceremony took place at Tokyo-Narita International Airport. The first three Lufthansa A380s were named after Lufthansa’s two German hubs – “Frankfurt” and “Munich” and the A380 destination “Beijing”.
"With this naming we would like to express our thanks to our customers and partners in Japan who have made us the number one European airline in one of the world’s strong growth regions. With this acknowledgement we confirm our engagement in Asia and will also continue to make investments for growth and innovations here in future”, said Christoph Franz.
The “Tokyo” is the only Lufthansa aircraft up to now which was not – as is the usual tradition – baptized with champagne, but rather with Japanese “Sake” wine. In accordance with the Japanese tradition, Governor Isihara and Christoph Franz, together with Ambassador Volker Stanzel, broke open a barrel of Sake with a wooden hammer for the new aircraft, in order to welcome Tokyo’s new flying ambassador. Governor Shintaro Ishihara then "baptized" the aircraft. Christoph Franz said: “From today this aircraft will fly as a further symbol of German – Japanese friendship”.
Japan was the first market worldwide to be served by the new Lufthansa flagship A380 since 10th June 2010 – in the meantime, with daily flight connections. Christoph Franz reported very positive results of the first months of the flight operations: “The A380 is efficient, environmentally-friendly and, with its low noise level, not only pleasant for the passengers, but also contributes to reducing noise pollution at heavily-used airports like Tokyo-Narita and Frankfurt. Quality, economic efficiency and also the environmental performance of the aircraft are trend-setting”.
150 years of German-Japanese friendship
Patrons of the “Germany-Japan: 150 years of Friendship” celebrations are the German Federal President Christian Wulff and Japan’s Crown Prince Naruhito. The anniversary year was already opened with an official ceremony on 16th October 2010. Further highlights in 2011 are a German-Japanese Rock Festival as well as the Japanese- German Youth Summit in August. The German Embassy is organizing a German Festival in Tokyo in October as a grand finale.
50 years Lufthansa in Japan
The proportion of Japanese passengers on flights to and from Japan is over 70 percent. Furthermore, a comparison of Lufthansa capacity on the routes between Japan and Germany, from an initial 35,000 seats per year to over one million seats in 2011, clearly reflects the dynamic and successful development of air traffic between the two countries over the last 50 years.
The long-standing and very successful cooperation with its Japanese Star Alliance partner All Nippon Airways ANA is extremely important for Lufthansa. Lufthansa offers its customers codeshare flights in the ANA network on three international and 16 national routes. Lufthansa and ANA are steadily improving and extending their cooperation for the benefit of the customers of both airlines.In its Lufthansa configuration, the Airbus A380 has a total of 526 seats. The totally new First Class with eight luxurious seats on the upper deck stands for individuality, optimal comfort and technical innovation, making travelling even more pleasant. Also on the upper deck is the Lufthansa Business Class with 98 seats. On the main deck 420 seats in the Economy Class offer more comfort than ever with impressive spaciousness.
Source = Lufthansa