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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Superjumbo Airbus Takes Off

APFlight 8940 pushing off on Frankfurt's runway Monday with 550 passengers.
FRANKFURT -- It may trail the historic impact of Charles Lindbergh's 1927 solo flight across the Atlantic, but the Spirit of St. Louis did not have a wingspan wider than a football field or space for more than 500 passengers.

The air show began early Monday at Frankfurt International Airport when the 73-meter-long plane took off as Lufthansa Flight 8940 for the eight-hour journey to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport. Some 550 people, including four pilots, four Airbus crew members, 23 Lufthansa cabin crew and 519 passengers, mostly Airbus and Lufthansa employees along with some reporters, were to be onboard.

The flight will operate just as if it were a commercial one with full dining and entertainment services.

After the inaugural run, Lufthansa and Airbus will operate a demonstration flight to Chicago O'Hare Airport on Tuesday before returning to New York, and then Frankfurt. The plane then heads to Hong Kong and back, before continuing its journey to Washington Dulles International Airport on March 25, with a final stop at Lufthansa's Munich hub on March 28 to complete the series of optimization flights.