On August 1, 2012, Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport will become the first airport in Texas to receive Airbus A380 scheduled service, when Lufthansa...

On August 1, 2012, Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport will become the first airport in Texas to receive Airbus A380 scheduled service, when Lufthansa upgrades the aircraft type it uses to operate its daily Houston-Frankfurt flight.

Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) will be Lufthansa’s fourth A380 destination in the United States.

The Airbus A380 is the largest passenger jet in the world, with 63 per cent more cabin space than today’s next-largest aircraft, the Boeing 747-400, and substantially more than the latest 747- version, the 747-8 Intercontinental. (Lufthansa has ordered 20 747-8Is and will take delivery of the first in 2012.)

Lufthansa’s A380s carry up to 526 passengers, with eight seats in First Class and 98 in Business Class on the upper deck; and 420 seats in Economy on the lower deck. In addition to its size, the A380 is significantly quieter in flight, more spacious throughout, and offers lower fuel consumption and lower emission levels per passenger than other existing jets.

Lufthansa has a total of 17 Airbus A380s in service and on order

“As the gateway to Texas’ energy capital, Bush Intercontinental welcomes the A380 as a symbol of Houston’s significant role as an international hub,” says Mario Diaz, director of the Houston Airport System, the oeprator of George Bush Intercontinental Airport. “I believe the new aircraft is a game-changer and is an excellent fit for transatlantic flights between Houston and Germany as Lufthansa expands its service.”

The new A380 service will operate from Terminal D at IAH. Over the next several months, the Houston Airport System will be renovating Terminal D and, in anticipation of the A380, making accommodations to handle the extra-large aircraft.

Lufthansa was a founding member of Star Alliance. Customers flying on Lufthansa can connect to flights on Star Alliance partner United Airlines, which operates its largest hub in Houston, with more than 500 daily flights.

“We commend the Houston Airport System management for their decision to invest significantly in order to make the airport A380-ready. Houston makes perfect sense as the fourth-largest U.S. city to experience Lufthansa’s A380 flagship aircraft and premium service,” says Jurgen Siebenrock, Lufthansa’s vice president The Americas. “Lufthansa’s new A380 service also improves capacity between Houston’s prevalent oil and energy business and the airline’s over 35 other oil and energy destinations worldwide.”

With more than 40 million passengers annually, Bush Intercontinental is a major hub for the Star Alliance system. More than half of all passengers who fly into Houston’s Intercontinental Airport are connecting to other international and domestic destinations.

“The addition of the A380 ensures that international traffic will be able to grow in Houston,” adds Diaz. “We expect to see more choices for travelers who are flying to Africa and the Middle East as they enjoy this new aircraft.”

The Houston Airport System (HAS) served more than 49.5 million passengers in 2010, ranking as the fourth-largest multi-airport system in the U.S. Houston’s three airports, George Bush Intercontinental (IAH), William P. Hobby (HOU) and Ellington Airport (EFD), contribute more than $27 billion to the regional economy.

For more information, visit www.fly2houston.com.