SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT--With the arrival Tuesday of Lufthansa flight 454 from Frankfurt, Germany, the airline became the first to fly daily service of Airbus' giant A380 to SFO. On Lufthansa flights, the A380, the world's-largest passenger plane, seats 526 people, with 420 in coach on the plane's lower level, and 96 in business class on the upper level. Another 10 sit in luxury in the plane's first class cabin at the front of the upper level.
Lufthansa passenger airlines CEO Carsten Spohr told CNET that the airline is particularly happy to fly to San Francisco because it is what he called a "quality market," meaning it has a high concentration of executives and others who pay to fly business and first class. Spohr pointed to Silicon Valley as a major reason behind this.
Although Lufthansa became the first airline to inaugurate daily service of the A380 to SFO with its flight today, Richard Carcaillet, the director of A380 marketing for Airbus, told CNET that in 2004, SFO became the first American airport to certify that it was ready to accept the giant airplane. It is only because there are so many major air routes in the world that it took four years after the A380 began flying in 2007 for San Francisco to get daily service of the plane.
On June 8, Air France is expected to follow Lufthansa's lead and begin flying A380s into and out of SFO.
Here we see many of the A380's cockpit controls.