EVERETT, Wash.--It was years in the making, but today, Boeing and Lufthansa held a delivery event that changes aviation forever. The event marked the delivery of the first 747-8 Intercontinental into an airline's hands. And that means that within a month, the first paying passengers will be climbing aboard this giant new airplane. Lufthansa plans to integrate this plane into its long-haul routes on June 1, and has already contracted for a total of 20 of the new planes.
Seen here, the plane is about to takeoff for its flight to Germany, where Lufthansa will do final preparations for its inaugural commercial flight next month.
A look up at the nose of Lufthansa's first 747-8 Intercontinental. The plane is said to offer significant improvements for carriers in terms of fuel efficiency and noise. Boeing has 120 orders for the new plane.
Lufthansa is starting an overhaul of the configuration of its long-haul planes. The new 747, and some of its other planes, including the A380, will have just eight first class seats, and a much greater emphasis on business class.
This is one of the first class seats folded flat and set up as a full bed.
Senior vice president and general manager of Boeing Commercial Airplanes Pat Shanahan shows off the ceremonial key for the new 747-8 Intercontinental as he prepares to hand it over to Carsten Spohr, CEO of Lufthansa Passenger Airlines.