Lufthansa names A380 after first destination, ‘Tokyo’
The Governor of Tokyo, Shintaro Ishihara, and Christoph Franz, Chairman of the Executive Board & CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, have officially launched the airline’s new 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 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, christened Tokyo, will now serve the airports of Frankfurt and Tokyo. The Japanese capital was the first Lufthansa A380 destination to launch, when services started 10 June 2010. Since this time, 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 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 first three Lufthansa A380s were named after thje airline’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 Franz.
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. 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”.