SFO to welcome first scheduled A380 flight

Lufthansa will begin operating its daily flight from Frankfurt tomorrow with the world’s largest commercial airplane. The A380, which will replace the Boeing 747-400 on the route, will transport up to 526 passengers in three service classes on two levels. The flight time will be about the same (a little more than 11 hours), but the sight of the huge plane landing over the San Francisco Bay will be a win for the entire region.

SFO will be Lufthansa’s second A380 U.S. destination (after New York’s JFK) and only the third airport in the country to get daily A380 service. Qantas flies the plane every day to Los Angeles International Airport from Sydney, and Lufthansa, Air France, and Emirates regularly serve JFK, but San Francisco beat out heavy hitters like Chicago, Houston, and Miami (the latter will start A380 flights on June 10) for the bronze medal.

Though Lufthansa and SFO will point to San Francisco’s popularity with business and leisure travelers, the airport was the first in the nation to be able to accommodate the airplane (LAX, for example, had to reposition taxiways and a runway to make room for the immense 261-foot wingspan). What’s more, SFO’s decade-old International Terminal was specifically designed to accommodate the double-decker aircraft with jetways that could board each deck simultaneously. SFO first hosted the A380 on a “working visit” back in 2007, but this will be your first chance to actually buy a ticket.

The flight arrives at 12:05 p.m. PT. It then spends a few hours on the ground before heading back to Germany.

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