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Lufthansa’s plans to fly Airbus A380 to India may take time

Mumbai, May 20 (IANS) German air carrier Lufthansa’s plans to fly the world’s biggest aircraft, Airbus A380, to India may take time as Indian airports are not fully equipped to handle it, aviation sources said Thursday.

‘It is heartening to learn about Lufthansa’s ambitious plans to include India on its Airbus A380 service routes. However, New Delhi airport’s Terminal 3 is still under construction and it may be at least another six or nine months or more before it is ready to receive A380,’ an aviation source told IANS here.

On Wednesday, during a media interaction in Mumbai, Lufthansa’s South Asia director Axel Hilgers expressed the airline’s desire to deploy the gigantic 526-seater, double-decker A380 on the India sector, possibly starting with New Delhi.

‘We shall be ready whenever India is ready to receive the Airbus A-380 aircraft,’ Hilgers said.

Hilgers added that India was Lufthansa’s second largest inter-continental market in the world and they wanted to offer the best of services and schedules for the sector.

Among them is a proposal to introduce Airbus A380 flights to India but only after all the necessary formalities are fully completed.

Lufthansa received delivery of its first A380 Wednesday. It will be deployed on the Frankfurt-Johannesburg sectors.

Three more Airbus A380s which it hopes to acquire by the year-end or early 2011 would be deployed on certain international sectors like Beijing and Tokyo.

Aviation officials said that the India sector missed out on Concorde, the world’s fastest passenger aircraft – which could achieve supersonic speeds – since Indian airports were ill-equipped to handle them.

However, a Concord aircraft had made an exhibition trip to India – over a decade ago – but was flown at regular sub-sonic speeds.

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