Posts Tagged 'Lufthansa'

First Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental for Lufthansa

Lufthansa has conducted the first scheduled flight from Frankfurt, Germany to Washington, DC, USA with the brand new Boeing 747-8Intercontinental, which is the latest, and most advanced version of the classic Boeing 747. Lufthansa is the launch customer of the type.

The plane was delivered to Lufthansa (LH) on May 1 (about 2 years later than originally planned)  and has been used for training for a month at its home base in Frankfurt, before her maiden revenue flight on June 1, 2012. Flight LH416 — the first Boeing 747-8I passenger service — passed through the traditional water salute at Frankfurt in the morning and landed at 12:45 local time, 10 min. ahead of schedule. Flying time was 7 hr. 57 min.

The (so far) longest version of the classic Boeing 747 JumboJet has 362 seats in three cabins: 8 seats in First-class, 92 seats in Business-class and 262 in Economy. With this size, it fills the gap between the Airbus A340-600’s and the A380. Even the size (and most of the plane) was designed by Boeing, based on requirements by Lufthansa, making the German carrier a real launch customer of the new -8Intercontinental. Actually Lufthansa was the one originally raising the idea of this type to Boeing, who agreed to make the plane a bit longer, and implement many of the new technologies developed for the 787 Dreamliner program – including state-of-the-art wings with much improved aerodynamics and raked wingtips, some composite materials, fly-by-wire technology and next generation engines.

The fourth-generation 747 is powered by GE Aviation’s GEnx-2B engines, which will bring double-digit improvements in fuel burn and emissions over its predecessor, the 747-400, while generating 30% less noise (should be noticeable even on board). It should burn 10-15% less fuel than the last 747 version, the -400, which puts it right next to the Airbus A380 in terms of seat-mile-cost. This first plane is within the limits but has not yet reached planned targets in terms of performance requirements, said Deutsch Lufthansa AG Executive Board member Carsten Spohr, as quoted by ATW News. “This first new aircraft (of a new type) is never the best one,” Spohr told ATW. He said the weight of the aircraft is too high, resulting in more fuel burn. Also, he said, the General Electric GEnx-2B engines have to improve. Lufthansa hopes these issues will be resolved by the delivery of the tenth/eleventh plane of the type next year.

It is such an honor to join Lufthansa in welcoming the 747-8 Intercontinental into service,” said Elizabeth Lund, Boeing vice president and general manager, 747 Program. “Lufthansa has provided great inspiration and leadership in helping us design a new Queen of the Skies for the 21st Century, an airplane that Lufthansa will love for its efficiency and reliability, airport neighbors will love for its quiet operations and low emissions, and passengers will love for its beautiful new interior and extra space.

The German flag-carrier has 20 747-8Is on order plus 20 options as part of its biggest-ever fleet modernization program. The aircraft will be delivered at a rate of five aircraft per year through mid-2015. After the Washington route, other destination cities to follow include Chicago O’Hare, Los Angeles, New Delhi and Bangalore.

Korean Air and Air China are the next customers to receive their first 747-8I type airplanes next year, while Lufthansa will take delivery of four more aircraft this year (the second one within a month).

________________

More about the 747-8I overview, details, development process and the new aircraft in general is available in the Lufthansa Magazine Special Issue on the web or for your iPad in iTunes (highly recommended!) (free app, with a selection of free issues of the Lufthansa Magazine, You should look to download the special Boeing 747-8 edition)

by balint01

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Lufthansa A380 Flies To Johannesburg

Lufthansa flew the German National Football Team, the Nationalelf to the South African WorldCup on board their brand new flagship, the Airbus A380 super-jumbo. They titled this special flight as “Mannschaftsbus“.

The flight, numbered as LH 2010 left Frankfurt a bit late at almost 9 pm on Sunday evening, June 6, 2010 to arrive in Johannesburg at 8:15 on Monday morning – right at the scheduled time. About 150 football fans were also aboard the A380 along with the players, the DFB (German Football Association) trainers and assistants. The team was given a warm send-off in the Business Lounge at Gate C14 at Frankfurt. Before the flight, Team Manager Oliver Bierhoff and the players took part in a talk session. All the passengers on the special flight were presented with an exclusive Lufthansa World Cup fan kit full of items the supporters will need to cheer their team on.

Captain Jürgen Raps, Member of the Lufthansa German Airlines Board and Chief Pilot, was pilot in command of the special flight. Supporting him on the flight deck were Captain Raimund Müller and Captain Werner Knorr. All three of them had a painted German flag on their faces, like all the real fans usually do. The cabin crew comprised two pursers and 19 flight attendants. “We’re flying to South Africa with a good feeling,” said Manuel Neuer, goalkeeper of the German national squad.

We are thrilled to be the first guests on board Lufthansa’s biggest and most modern airliner and hope after a relaxed flight to realise our sporting ambitions at the World Cup in South Africa,” said Team Manager Oliver Bierhoff.

The youngest German World Cup Team since 1934 had a full floor to themselves on the double-decker aircraft. The lower level of Economy class was occupied by journalists and the above mentioned 150 lucky fans.

As a surprise, however, on the upper deck, one of the First Class seats was occupied during the flight by the famous singer: Shakira! Her private jet arrived in Frankfurt a little bit late, thus she missed all the pre-flight events, but the A380 did wait for her and took off a few minutes late. Reportedly, members of the team taught a few German words to the pop-diva, who is scheduled to perform on the first ever FIFA WORLD CUP KICK–OFF CELEBRATION CONCERT, together with Alicia Keys, The Black Eyed Peas, John Legend just to mention a few from the very impressive, long line-up of musicians. The historic event is taking place the night before the first match at 8 p.m. local time on June 10, 2010, at the newly-renovated Orlando Stadium in Soweto/Johannesburg.

The well-rested and stylishly traveled German Football Team will play their first match against Australia in Durban, on Saturday.

Minute-by-minute reporting from the flight in German: here.

Photos taken from the Lufthansa Facebook site.

by balint01

First Lufthansa Airbus A380

Lufthansa has taken delivery of their first Airbus A380. The German airline will first use it to transport the German National Team (“Nationalelf”) to the Football (soccer) World Cup in South Africa starting in less than two weeks.

On May 19, Lufthansa become the second European airline after Air France (and the 5th worldwide) to receive the super-jumbo when Airbus CEO Thomas Enders handed over the aircraft to Lufthansa CEO and Chairman Wolfgang Mayrhuber at an official ceremony at the Airbus plant in Hamburg-Finkenwerder, which was attended by about 700 honorary guests. The plane powered by Trent-900 engines carries the registration number D-AIMA and is named “Frankfurt am Main”.

The German flag-carrier first plans to operate its first double-decker for pilot training across 13 German airports plus Zurich and Vienna from May 31 through June 3, and also on a few selected scheduled flights from Frankfurt to Munich and Hamburg in order to familiarize crew and airport staff with the aircraft, while also generating publicity. On June 6, 2010, this super-jumbo will transport the German national soccer team to Johannesburg for the World Cup in South Africa.

Lufthansa has configured its Airbus A380 with 526 seats (12 less than so far recorder Air France). The entirely new First Class cabin (seen above) with eight seats on the upper deck reflects the concept of individuality and offers the ultimate in comfort and technical innovation, which further enhances the travel experience. However, Lufthansa did not opt for the personal Suite-type of First Class product as fellow Star Alliance member Singapore Airlines, or Emirates. Lufthansa is rolling-out an overall new First class product together with the introduction of the A380 as originally announced two years ago. Also on the upper deck is the Business Class cabin with 98 seats. The main deck features 420 Economy Class seats providing an unprecedented level of passenger comfort in coach-class (seen below).

Download the full Seat-plan of the Lufthansa Airbus A380-800.

Long-haul scheduled services, starting with Frankfurt-Tokyo Narita route, will commence on June 11, 2010, with thrice weekly return flights, replacing a Boeing 747-400 on the route. The Tokyo A380 service will become daily from August 4, after Lufthansa receives the second super-jumbo. Currently the second plane is undergoing painting work and cabin interior installment in Hamburg, and will be named “München”.

Furthermore Lufthansa will receive two additional A380s this year (one in July and one in September). Its third A380 will operate between Frankfurt and Beijing thrice-weekly beginning Aug. 25 and its fourth will fly between Frankfurt and Johannesburg thrice-weekly from Oct. 25.  The German carrier will take 4 more such planes next year and expects each A380 to transport 366.000 passengers each year, while flying 4.6 million kms each. It received the first plane 2.5 years later than the original schedule and has 15 firm orders currently with 10 more options for the aircraft type.

The first Lufthansa Airbus A380 has also received a brand new maintenance hangar (the largest in Europe) at Frankfurt Airport, by Lufthansa Technik, after seven years of preparational work. The new facility underwent final tests in early April, when a test aircraft was flown in from Toulouse for this purpose. Lufthansa Technik already employs 80 A380-licensed technicians including staff for stations outside of Germany. It invested €150 million ($200.5 million) to build its A380 maintenance facility at Frankfurt expanded later. Currently, it has the capacity to handle three A380s and two MD-11s at one time. Lufthansa will also get support for the first several months of A380 operations from Airbus, which will provide nine specialists to assist the carrier, and Rolls-Royce, which will supply 20 temporary support staff.

We are happy to see another European airline starting to operate the European-built, largest aircraft in the world, and hope that it will bring the expected results, including reduced noise levels for both passengers and residents on the ground, as well as reduced fuel consumption and less emissions.

The big question remaining is: how will the 11 starting players of the Nationalelf share the 8 First Class seats on their June 6 flight to South Africa? 🙂

by balint01

Top 5 Airlines in 2008

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has published its latest ranking of the world’s airlines in terms of passengers carried and passenger kilometres flown on scheduled flights for the year 2008.

International and Domestic – Number of passengers

Based on number of passengers carried on scheduled flights in 2008 and considering International as well as Domestic traffic, US and Chinese companies seem to rule the world with Southwest Airlines taking number one. However, if we would count Delta and Northwest as one entity (they merged in 2008), they would claim the number one spot (seen in line 0 in the table below). It should be noticed that the fifth position in terms of passengers carried has been taken by a Chinese air company (China Southern Airlines) – which also signals the ongoing growth of the Chinese domestic air travel market.

Top5 Airlines in 2008 in terms of Passengers on Domestic And International flights

International – Number of passengers

Looking at only International scheduled traffic in 2008 (excluding domestic), Ryanair has grown to be the largest International airline in the world. Mostly European airlines are included in this bucket, as most of their flights are international, even though the distances flown would in most cases match up with the US (or Chinese) Domestic flights. This just shows how strong the US airlines are on their domestic market and how weak they are on the international routes – in terms of number of passengers. It is interesting to note that Air France and KLM are a merged company since 2004, but operate their separate networks. Also interesting to see that 2 of the top 5 are low-cost carriers (Ryanair and easyJet). If we would consider European international flights as domestic (in terms of distance intra-European flights are similar in nature to the domestic flights within the US or China), none of the European airlines would make it in the top 5 – based on the number of passengers flown, even though Ryanair comes very close to fifth position China Southern.

2008 Top 5 Airlines (number of Passengers on International travel)

International and Domestic – Passenger kilometres

When looking at passenger kilometres flown, it gives a slightly different view of the same results. Such a statistic shows us all airlines in terms of passenger kilometres flown (passengers*kilometers flown) and theoretically levels out the difference between the European International flights and the US Domestic flights for example – which produce similar numbers in terms of passenger kilometres. On the other hand, this gives a chance for airlines flying mostly longer routes with less passengers to move up the list. (E.g.: a Budapest-London flight is 1 passenger or rougly 1500 passenger kilometres, while a Paris-Rio de Janeiro flight is also counted as 1 passenger, but rougly 9400 passenger kilometres.)

Top 5 Airlines in 2008 - in terms of passenger kilometres for Domestic and International flights

It is interesting to see that this view is still ruled by the US airlines, and the only non-US in the list is the merged Air France – KLM group, taking the fourth position. We are missing Southwest Airlines from this table, as they do not fly long-haul and fly only a limited number of mid-haul international flights to Central America thus their average kilometers flown per passenger is much lower than those big American airlines that also fly long-haul routes. It is also a notable change that American Airlines (considered to be the largest airline company for years) is passed by the new Delta Airlines (merged with Northwest) by as much as 35%.

It will be interesting to see these numbers for 2009 in a few months – where Delta will most likely hold the number one spot for overall passenger numbers as well as passenger kilometers, but Lufthansa may move up a little bit if they start to publish their numbers together with Brussels Airlines and Austrian Airlines. We are also looking forward to the much talked about possible British Airways – Iberia tie up, which would produce an Air France – KLM like congolmerate that could fight for a top 5 position in terms of worldwide passenger kilometers – considering Iberia’s long flights between Europe and South America.

by balint01

Lufthansa Italia Launches at Milan-Malpensa

There was a great market opening in Northern Italy for scheduled air services, as the weakened Alitalia decided to focus on their hub in Rome. Ryanair was among the first operators to announce that it’s capable of placing a few aircraft there, but in the end it seems that Lufthansa is the first airline to actually make a strong move.

Lufthansa has been shopping around Europe as we reported earlier, but has missed out on purchasing a stake in the re-launched Alitalia a few weeks ago, who in the end chose to cooperate with their long-time SkyTeam partner, Air France-KLM. Lufthansa (and Star Alliance) had a very good relationship to the second biggest Italian carrier, Air One, but Air One is included in the newly formed Alitalia, thus probably that relationship will sooner or later end. But the German flag-carrier is not sitting around waiting for that, instead, they have chosen a different way to strengthen their position in the Italian market: setting up their own subsidiary outside the safe German home-market.

lufthansa_italia_a319_by_mxphotos1

The new Lufthansa Italia took to the skies on January 28, 2009 with a panoramic flight over the Alps which was followed by the christening ceremony of its first two Airbus A319s, named “Milano” and “Varese” respectively. Until now all Lufthansa planes have been named after German cities, therefore these new names are symbolically emphasizing their aggressive expansion strategy and real focus on the Italian market.

The A319s were painted in Lufthansa Italia livery and refurbished with 138 seats across two classes. The cabin interior will be designed Italian-style, in-flight service will be in the hands of Italian fights attendants and Italian delicacies will round off the in-flight cuisine. Scheduled service will start February 2, 2009, with the first two destinations: thrice daily flights to both Barcelona and Paris (Charles de Gaulle).  After the arrival of the next two aircraft, starting March 2, 2009 twice daily flights to Brussels, Budapest and Madrid plus a daily service to Bucharest will be added to the timetable four weeks later. London (Heathrow) (four-times-daily ! ) and Lisbon (daily) will be brought into the network from the start of the 2009 summer flight schedules at the end of March when another two Airbus A319s join the fleet. Five aircraft are ex-Germanwings and one will come from the Lufthansa mainline. The new services will provide Lufthansa customers with fast, non-stop connections to European metropolises.

In the summer, the new airline will operate some 260 weekly flights out of MXP in addition to the 140 operated by Lufthansa. This will mean that Lufthansa and Lufthansa Italia will operate a total of weekly 400 flights from Milan-Malpensa!

Once LH Italia receives its own Air Operators Certificate (AOC), it will employ some 300 people. Lufthansa Italia is seeking an Italian AOC in large part to secure traffic rights to non-EU destinations like Eastern Europe or countries that do not have open skies agreements with the EU.

by balint01

Lufthansa Shopping Around Europe

Lufthansa Logo

Lufthansa, the German flag carrier has been one of the most successful airlines in Europe in recent years and a leader in the Star Alliance. They have made very strong relationships with the other European Star Alliance members by sharing loyalty programs (pushing through their own Miles & More program to be used by others), promoting strong code-share agreements, etc. They have also assured to have an insight and some influence over at least some of their fellow European Star partners by having minority stakes in British bmi and the Scandinavian SAS. Lufthansa has also made a strong partnership with Italian Air One in 2000 – this is a nowadays often heard name, as Air One is merging with the nearly-collapsed Alitalia to form the new Italian flag-carrier.

Swiss logo 1. SWISS International Airlines (2005)

Other European carriers may have also had some similar agreements in place, but no minority ownership in other airlines, until only a few years ago. Then in 2004 Air France merged with KLM, creating Air France-KLM and created the world’s largest Airline in terms of annual revenue in those days. As an answer, Lufthansa purchased the bankrupt Swiss International Airlines in March 2005, which was also officially communicated as a merger, but in reality it was a take-over by the Germans. Swiss has been turned around and is making profit these days – thus it is living proof that Lufthansa may be very successful in acquiring other airlines and merging them into its extended line of subsidiaries that contain smaller, regional partners such as Air Dolomiti, Lufthansa CityLine, Augsburg Airways just to name a few. Obviously Swiss became a much bigger subsidiary than these others by keeping its own brand and identity but sharing the coherences.

JetBlue logo

2. jetBlue (2007)

Then, two years after the succussful Swiss take-over, Lufthansa began airline shopping in late 2007. First it purchased a 19% stake in the American low-cost airline, JetBlue and announced extended partnerships.

Brussels_Airlines_Logo3. Brussels Airlines (2008)

But in 2008, Lufthansa really shifted gears and became the main advocate and driver of airline consolidation around Europe. Basically any airline sales that have happened this year, included Lufthansa as a potential buyer at some point, but more interestingly in a number of cases they turned out to be the actual buyers. On September 15 2008, Lufthansa announced a relative surprise 45% stake acquisition in Brussels Airlines, just two weeks after the first rumours of such a tie-up. It is interesting as Brussels Airlines has not been a member of Star Alliance (has been an outsider to any airline alliances actually), and is a result of a merger by itself, that happened not so long ago. In 2006 SN Brussels Airlines (replacement of the earlier bankrupt Sabena) merged with Virgin Express, a Richard Branson owned low-cost carrier to create the largest Belgian airlines. Lufthansa now owns 45% of it, but has an option to purchase the remaining 55% by 2011. Brussels Airlines is bound to gain full membership to Star Alliance in the coming years as a result. During the merger process it was revealed that Brussels Airlines was also in talks with British Airways, but that deal has fallen through.

Over the course of 2008, Lufthansa was also mentioned as a potential buyer of SAS, or its subsidiary in Spain: Spanair. They are both members of Star, so it would have been a logical step. (The Spanair interest has been expressed already in 2007 as we reported.) However, a Spanair flight suffered a very bad, deadly accident on August 20th, 2008, following of which Lufthansa seems to have given up on purchasing the SAS lead airline group that fell into heavy losses after the accident.

bmi logo4. bmi (British Midland) (2008)

But let’s not forget the large UK market, where as said earlier, LH has held a minority stake (30%-1 share) in the second largest local player on the market: bmi. The current majority stakeholder, Sir Michael Bishop has 50%+1 share, with the remaining 20% being owned by the Scandinavian SAS Airlines group. Lufthansa is planning to purchase the stakes of Sir Bishop (who expressed his intentions of selling his stakes to the Germans in late October, 2008), with which they would become the 80% owner of the second largest British Airlines, and the airlines holding the second largest number of take-off and landing slots at London Heathrow airport, the biggest European Gateway to North-America. This sale is expected at around GBP 314 Million, which at the time of the announcement was worth around EUR 400 Million. By the time the sale is concluded sometime in January 2009, it may cost less for the Germans due to the recent weakness of the Pound against the Euro. Having mentioned Sir Richard Branson’s name in connection with Brussels Airlines above, both parties have confirmed that should Lufthansa become the majority owner of bmi, he would very much like to link up the long-haul operations of his Virgin Atlantic Airways with the short and medium haul flights of bmi – to create a realistic competition to British Airways in the UK. Virgin Atlantic Airways President Richard Branson said in December that “talks will take place with Lufthansa, maybe are taking place, to see whether it makes sense for the two companies to work together,” the Associated Press reported.

Update: On 18MAY2009, the takeover bid has been approved by the European Commission.

austrian_airlines_logo5. Austrian Airlines (2008)

On the other hand, Lufthansa quickly turned its focus towards the recently loss-making Austrian Airlines, a long-time close Star Alliance partner. The Austrian Government was selling off the majority stake of its own flag-carrier over the course of October-November, 2008. There are some controversial details to the final bidding process where AirFrance-KLM had dropped its bid, but after all, Lufthansa was announced as the winner of this privatization effort. This sounds like a logical step, based on their long-time partnership. The deal is expected to be closed by January 2009.

Update (29AUG2009): It took much longer than expected, but finally on 28AUG, the European Commission has officially approved Lufthansa’s acquisition of Austrian Airlines Group. Lufthansa alleviated antitrust concerns by agreeing to reduce service between five European cities (Frankfurt, Munich, Stuttgart, Cologne and Brussels) and Vienna.

Update (05FEB2010): All remaining shares in Austrian Airlines Group held by minority shareholders have been transferred to Lufthansa subsidiary Osterreichische Luftverkehrs Holding by order of the Vienna Commercial Court. Share certificates are redeemable for cash compensation, Lufthansa said. In December it said it would pay €0.50 ($0.70) for each outstanding share. Austrian Airlines Group is expected to be delisted from the Vienna Stock Exchange soon.

germanwings logo6. Germanwings (2008)

Another late 2008 announcement saw Lufthansa taking full ownership of the German low-cost carrier, Germanwings (established in 1997), that was owned by Eurowings, a Dortmund based regional air carrier. To twist this story, Lufthansa has been holding a 49% stake in Eurowings since 2006 with full control as parent company, thus it was already partial owner of Germanwings before the announcement in December, 2008, that it will fully take it over as of January 1, 2009.

7. What’s next in 2009?

Looking at the dynamics of Lufthansa shopping around Europe for other airlines, we are sure they will continue in 2009. But what could be their next target(s)?

  • Alitalia
    The Italian flag-carrier is just being reorganized and the new owners are looking for a strategic partner, which could be either Lufthansa (given their strong relationship to Air One, it would make sense) or Air France-KLM (they have been cooperating with Alitalia and are all in SkyTeam). And let’s not forget that Lufthansa has been interested in Alitalia all along the long and rocky road to its privatization.
    Update (09JAN2009): Lufthansa confirmed that it did not make an offer for Alitalia in the end, and prefers to work with its Star Alliance partners in the Italian market. Air France-KLM will hold a minority stake in the reorganized Italian flag-carrier.
  • SAS / Spanair
    Given the earlier speculations and shared Star Alliance interests, a partial or majority stake exchange or merger could still happen between Lufthansa and SAS or SAS subsidiary Spanair.
    Update (02FEB2009): SAS has sold its 80.1% stake in Spanair for €1 ($1.31), leaving SAS with the remainder. This practically rules out Lufthansa buying the Spanish carrier, but would still offer the possibility for a stake in SAS.
  • LOT Polish Airlines
    The Polish government is planning to sell all or at least part of the national carrier of Poland that has been in Star Alliance and has been cooperating with Lufthansa for quite some time.
  • TAP Portugal
    We don’t know about TAP being up for sale, but would not be surprised if Lufthansa would simply buy the fellow Star Alliance member that would give them a much larger presence in South-America.
  • CSA Czech Airlines
    I wouldn’t bet on such a tie-up, but given the aggressiveness of the Germans, if and when CSA will be up for privatization, they may join the tender process, just in case…
    Update: Lufthansa had not turned in an offer for CSA.
  • Regional carriers
    There are a number of regional flag-carriers of smaller European countries that could theoretically be of interest to Lufthansa next year, such as those Star Alliance associates on the Balkans (Croatia Airlines and Adria Airways) or any of the small carriers in the Baltic states.

If Lufthansa will keep its course and will continue to be shopping around Europe for airlines in 2009, we’ll be here to keep you updated! And of course the other two major European players (Air France-KLM and British Airways) will also have to speed up their consolidation plans if they want to cooperate with any airline in Europe, before Lufthansa buys them all…

by balint01

Deadly Spanair Crash on Madrid Runway

Today at 14:45 local time, a Spanair MD-82 suffered an accident while taking off at Madrid Barajas Airport.

According to the first reports, the left engine caught fire (some reports say there was an explosion) while increasing speed on the ground (approximately 1 km down the runway), and the pilots tried to stop before taking to the sky or reaching the end of the runway. Some reports say the plane actually raised to the skies and then fell back on the ground, to later overrun the runway and break into several parts while catching fire and releasing large plumes of smoke that was visible from a distance around the airport. As seen on the CNN video report there were two plumes of smoke, which indeed would confirm that the plane had broken into at least two parts.

Update (22 august): according to CNN, there was no engine explosion. Read full article here.

Spanair MD-82 (EC-HFP) at Madrid Barajas (by Carl Hendriks on airliners.net)

Spanair MD-82 (EC-HFP) at Madrid Barajas (by Carl Hendriks on airliners.net)

 (The plane carried a Star Alliance livery at the time of the crash, shown on airliners.net.)

173 people were on board flight JK5022 (code-shared by Lufthansa as LH2554 – Lufthansa has confirmed that 7 people checked in to the flight with Lufthansa tickets – 4 of those were from Germany) which was bound to Las Palmas, on the Canary Islands in Spain, only two hours away from the Spanish capital. Of the 162 passengers and 10 crew (6 active flight crew and 4 passive crew members), 140 of them are already confirmed dead (6 hours after the accident) but more are feared for the worst, as according to airport officials, only 26 people were taken to hospital, 19 of those in critical conditions. (UPDATE: 153 people dead and only 19 survived, as of 21 August.) Madrid’s international airport has been closed for a few hours and was partially reopened later this evening. The fire spread to the surrounding area where grass and vegetation also caught on fire, therefore besides the airport fire engines, even helicopters were involved in the firefighting efforts as shown on the image below. According to reports, all fires have been stopped by around 5pm local time.

Putting out fire by Helicopter after the Spanair Crash at Madrid Barajas (August 20, 2008 - c by origo.hu)

Ambulances lining up at Madrid Barajas Airport after the Spanair Crash (20 August, 2008 - c by sky.com)

Ambulances lining up at Madrid Barajas Airport after the Spanair Crash (20 August, 2008 - c by sky.com)

According to the airline, the flight was already more than one hour late, due to a technical issue with the plane that forced the first takeoff attempt to be aborted (!!) as there were failure signals while pulling away from the terminal. The aircraft was inspected and then tried to take-off for the second time, which ended in the catastrophe. The McDonnel-Douglas MD-82 type has suffered other engine fire related incidents before. This particular plane (registration number: EC-HFP) first flew in 1993 for Korean Air and has been operated by Spanair since 1999. It had its last major check in January this year.

Update: here is the list of passengers of the flight JK 5022. It was published by the airline, but as it always happens, it will disappear from the website within a few days, so we copied it here, where hopefully it will remain forver.

Full Passenger List of Spanair flight JK 5022 on 20 August, 2008:

MEDINAVEGA/YAIZA

ACOSTAMENDIOLA/ALFREDO JESUS

ACOSTASIERRA/ALFREDO ALFONSO

DOMINGUEZPEREZ/ISABEL

GONZALEZCABANAS/MARIA LORETO

HERNANDEZGIL/MARCO

MARTINDOMINGUEZ/CRISTIAN

MARTINPEREZ/MANUEL

MENDIOLARODRIGUEZ/GREGORIA

ORTEGA/LEANDRO

VIDALRODRIGUEZ/RAFAEL

AFONSOMARRERO/PEDRO PABLO

AFONSOSOSA/JORGE

AFONSOSOSA/MIGUEL

ALCAZAR/MARIA DE LAS NIEVES

ALCAZARASENSIO/INMACULADA

ALCAZARJIMENEZ/JOSE

ALONSOALONSO/JOSE

ALONSOFILLOY/AMALIA

ALONSOFILLOY/MARIA

ALVARADO/OSCAR GABRIEL

ALVARADO/ROBERTO

ALVARADO/ROBERTO ALEXANDRE

ALVAREZCARRETERO/MARIA

ALVAREZCARRETERO/ROBERTO

ANDRACAGOLZARRI/BEGONIA

ANDRAKAGOLZARRI/ISABEL

ASENSIOCHAVES/MARIA VICTORIA

BACHO/MUKESHMANI

BARBOSARAMIREZ/ELSA

BERNAOLAITURBE/MIGUEL

BETANCORSANCHEZ/VERONICA

BORGE/ESPERANZA

CABALLERO/DAVID

CARPINTERORUIZ/ANGELES

CELISDIBOWSKY/YANINA

CHARILAS/PIERRICK

CHARILAS/ETHAN

CIPRIAN/CARMEN

CONEJO/SARA

CONTRERASBAEZA/MARIA GEMA

CORTESCABRERO/NIEVES

DELARIVA/SERGIO

DELGADOESTEVEZ/LIDIA

DELGADOCORCOBADO/CARLOS

DIAWARA/DEMBA

DIAZGONZALEZ/CLARA

DIAZMENDOZA/MARIA DEL PINO

DIEPALEON/MONICA

DOMIGUEZORTIZ/CRISTINA

DOMINGUEZ/ISAAC + INF

DOMINGUEZMELIAN/ALICIA

DOMINGUEZMELIAN/ARACELI

ERDIL/MUSTAFA

ESTEBANCONTRERAS/LAIA

ESTEVEZGONZALEZ/MARIA LUISA

FALCONDENIZ/AYOZE JAVIER

FERNANDEZ/JULIANA

FERRONOLMEDO/FERNANDO

FILLOYSEGOVIA/AMALIA

FLORESGARCIA/ANA GEMA

FLORESGARCIA/JOSE PABLO

FONTRODRIGUEZ/MARIA JESUS

FORTANNERNOU/MA DEL CARMEN SOFIA

GALLARDO/TAMARA

GALLEGOORTEGA/ANA

GALLEGOORTEGA/CRISTINA

GARCIAHERNANDEZ/CARLOS

GARCIAFERNANDEZ/MARIA RESURRECCION

GARCIAHERNANDEZ/ELENA

GARCIAMARTIN/LAUDENCIO

GARCIADELCARPIOROMERO/JOSE MANUEL

GARCIASANCHEZ/ANTONIO

GARCIA/MARIANO

GOMESSILVA/RONALDO

GOMEZ/CECILIA

GONZALEZDIAZ/PEDROANGEL

GONZALEZFERREIRA/PIL

HERNANDEZ/ABENAUARA

HERNANGOMEZ/PEDRO

HERNANDEZ/ZENAIDA DEL PINO

HERNANDEZ/SIOMARA + INF.

HERNANDEZ TANAUSU

HERNANDEZGUEDES/LUCRECIA

HERNANDEZMARTIN/MARIA TERESA

HERRAEZNOGUERAS/CARLOS

HULT/ANNMARIE

IBANEZSANCHEZ/BETSABE

JULIHENRIQ/AGUSTIN

JULIHENRIQ/MANUEL

LOPEZDUQUE/PILAR

MARQUEZVALLE/PILAR

MARTEL/MANUEL

MARTIN/MONICA

MARTINCONSUEGRAPENA/CRISTINA

MARTINEZCONDE/MERCEDES

MENDOZAMARCIAL/ANGEL JOSE

MOLINORODRIGUEZ/TELESFORO

MORALES/MA TERESA

MORENOPEREZ/RAFAEL

MORILLOPEREZ/PATRICIA

MROTZEK/CLAUDIA

MROTZEK/GERD

MROTZEK/LUCAS

MROTZEK/NIKLAS

MURIANALOPEZ/JUAN

MURIANAMARTINEZ/MERCEDES

NARANJO/JORGE

NARANJO/JORGE

NARANJO/RAQUEL

NODAPENA/FAYNA ELIZABETH

NORIEGAREY/SERGIO

NORIEGAREY/VICTOR

NORIEGARICO/MARIO

NUNEZ/FRANCISCO JAVIER

NUNEZ/MARIA

NUNEZPIRETTI/EUGENIA

NUNEZPIRETTI/JORGE

OJEDAPEREZ/CLAUDIO MANUEL

ORTEGASANCHEZ/M CARMEN

ORTEGADELACRUZ/GABRIEL

OSPINA/GLADYS

PALOMINORIVEROS/LIGIA

PAYERAS/DANIEL

PEREZDEOBANOSLISO/JOSE JOAQUIN

PLACERESPEREZ/INES

PRADOS/BALDOMERO

PRADOS/IGNACIO

PRADOS/JOSE FRANCISCO

PUYECEESAY/MUSTAPHA PAGANNA

PUYEFORTANER/SIRA

RAMIREZGONZALEZ/MARIA LOURDES

RAMIREZRODRIGUEZ/JOSE

REITZSAAVEDRA/ESTHER MARIA

REYESOJEDA/MARIA BEATRIZ

REYMURILLO/MARIA LUISA

RISO/DOMENICO

RIVEROSUAREZ/RAYCO

ROBAINASUAREZ/JOSE VICENTE

RODRIGUEZDAVILA/HONORIO

ROJOROSA/M CARMEN

RONDONUWU/NGUNI TOKA

SANCHEZ/PABLO ENRIQUE

SANCHEZBERNAL/TOMAS

SANCHEZORTIZ/MARIA DEL CARMEN

SANCHEZPEREZ/RUBEN DANIEL

SANGRADOR/JORGE

SANTANACASTILLO/CARMEN ISABEL

SANTANAMATEO/RUBEN

SOSAHERNANDEZ/MARIA DEL CARMEN

STANIMIROVA/ANTOANET

STEFANIDES/ANNA MAIJA

SUAREZESTEVEZ/JAVIER SEBASTIAN

TATEPEREZ/KIM YVONNE

VALLEJOJUNCO/M DEL CARMEN

VALLESMARCOS/FRANCISCO JAVIER

VERANESPEREIRA/ANAM

VILLANUEVAMARTIN/ALEJANDRO

VILLANUEVASANTANA/ALEJANDRO

VILLANUEVASANTANA/DARA

VILLANUEVASANTANA/KEILA

by balint01


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