In what will be a first, the world’s longest passenger aircraft, Boeing 747-8, will score a touchdown at Bangalore this year.
German carrier Lufthansa will start operating the aircraft on Bangalore-Frankfurt route later this year, making India’s IT City the third place in the world where it will operate this jumbo jet. The aircraft will have a seating capacity of 362.
Lufthansa, which started using Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental on Delhi-Frankfurt route on Tuesday, said it plans to add two more jumbo jets to its fleet this year.
“Two B747-8 aircraft are scheduled for delivery in 2012. Among the destinations that Lufthansa will serve with these new aircraft is Bangalore,” a representative of the airline said.
The airline’s Boeing 747-8, apart from the Delhi-Frankfurt route, operates on the Frankfurt-Washington route.
The BIA is gearing up to operate the jumbo jet. The Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) has already received consent from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to operate aircraft.
“Based on the inputs provided by Boeing, BIAL has done safety-risk assessment for B747-8 operations and, accordingly, has received approval to permit regular operations of this type of aircraft at this airport from the DGCA,” said airport officials.
BIA currently operates the Boeing 747-4, which is classified as a Code E aircraft by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
The Boeing 747-8, whose wingspan is about 224.4 feet (68.4 metres), is classified as a Code F aircraft by the ICAO, while the Boeing 747-4 whose wingspan is 211.5 feet (64.4 metres) is classified as a Code E aircraft.
“The Boeing 747-8’s wingspan is slightly more than Boeing 747-4 and in terms of length, it is the longest aircraft. It can operate regularly at BIA,” airport officials added.