Lufthansa’s Long Flight

GERMAN FLAG carrier Lufthansa has celebrated carrying out its longest ever non-stop passenger flight.  At five minutes to midnight on January 20, Airbus A340-600 D-AIHC (c/n 523) departed Munich on a charter service to Santiago de Chile, arriving in the South American city 14 hours and 43 minutes later.  The airline’s previous longest sector had been between Frankfurt and Honolulu in Hawaii in November 1994.
Meanwhile, Lufthansa claims it will be the “first leading European airline” to launch links to Iraq.  The carrier says demand for flights to the country is growing and it is therefore examining the possibility of providing connections to Baghdad and Erbil from Frankfurt and Munich this summer.  According to a company executive, an application has already been made to obtain the necessary traffic rights and route licences.  Lufthansa flew to Baghdad from 1956 until the start of the Gulf War in 1990.  Erbil is already served from Vienna by Austrian Airlines, which is part of the Lufthansa Group.
The German carrier will also expand its network at Munich this spring, adding services to Miami, Tashkent and Tehran as will as expanding its short-haul network with routes to Tallinn and Rostock on the Baltic Sea and to Zadar on the Adriatic coast.  The flight to Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, will be flown by a Boeing 737-800 of Swiss business jet operator PrivatAir and configured with 24 Business Class and 84 Economy seats.