The Houston Airport System announces it will welcome its first double-deck[er] A380 at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) on August 1, 2012, when Lufthansa upgrades the aircraft on its Houston to Frankfurt service. Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport will be Lufthansa’s fourth A380 market served in the United States.
The A380 is the largest passenger jet in the world, with 63 percent more cabin space than the next largest aircraft, the Boeing 747-400. The new jet will carry up to 526 passengers, with eight seats in the First Class and 98 in Business Class on the upper deck, and 420 seats in Economy on the lower deck. In addition to its size, the A380 boasts other impressive achievements. It is significantly quieter in flight, more spacious throughout, and offers reduced fuel consumption and lower emission levels.
“As the gateway to Texas’ energy capital, Bush Intercontinental welcomes the A380 as a symbol of Houston’s significant role as an international hub,” said Mario Diaz, Director of the Houston Airport System. “I believe the new aircraft is a game changer and is an excellent fit for transatlantic flights between Houston and Germany as Lufthansa expands its service.”
The new A380 service will operate from Terminal D. Over the next several months, the Houston Airport System will be renovating Terminal D and in anticipation of the A380, making accommodations to handle the extra-large aircraft.
Lufthansa will be the first airline to operate this aircraft in Texas. As a member of Star Alliance, customers flying on Lufthansa can connect to flights on United Airlines, which operates its largest hub in Houston with more than 500 daily flights.
“We commend the Houston Airport System management for their decision to invest significantly in order to make the airport A380-ready. Houston makes perfect sense as the fourth-largest U.S. city to experience Lufthansa’s A380 flagship aircraft and premium service,” said Jurgen Siebenrock, Vice President The Americas. “Lufthansa’s new A380 service also improves capacity between Houston’s prevalent oil and energy business and the airline’s over 35 other oil and energy destinations worldwide.”
Houston, as a major center for the oil industry, is the most international city in Texas. With more than 40 million passengers annually, Bush Intercontinental is a major hub for the Star Alliance system. More than half of all passengers who fly into Houston’s Intercontinental Airport are connecting to other international and domestic destinations.
“The addition of the A380 ensures that international traffic will be able to grow in Houston,” adds Diaz. “We expect to see more choices for travelers who are flying to Africa and the Middle East as they enjoy this new aircraft.”
The Houston Airport System (HAS) served more than 49.5 million passengers in 2010, ranking as the 4th largest multi-airport system in the U.S. Houston’s three airports: George Bush Intercontinental (IAH), William P. Hobby (HOU) and Ellington (EFD) Airports contribute more than $27 billion to the regional economy.