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The world’s largest commercial passenger aircraft is set to make its South Florida debut on Friday, June 9, at Miami International Airport when Lufthansa begins daily flights with the plane between Frankfurt and Miami.
The Airbus A380 jet is scheduled to touch down at MIA around 1:40 p.m. June 10.
MIA is the fifth airport in the nation and the first in the southeast United States to obtain A380 service, according to airport officials.
Lufthansa’s double-deck A380 has 526 seats and is configured to accommodate 420 passengers in economy class, 98 in business and eight in first class. In the economy class cabin, all seats are equipped with a video screen and sport a slimmer and more ergonomic design.
The A380 has already landed at airports in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Virginia operated by several international carriers such as Air France and Lufthansa.
“The A380 arrival elevates MIA to an elite group of airports worldwide that can accommodate it,” airport spokesman Greg Chin said Tuesday.
MIA officials also worked closely with the Federal Aviation Administration on making the airport A380-ready, which included strict air controller training.
Officials at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport said Tuesday that the A380 isn’t likely to land there anytime soon given its size and passenger load.
“Our airfield infrastructure — taxiways, runways and passport control areas — is not designed for it,” said Michael Nonnemacher, the airport’s director of operations.
FLL predominantly caters to domestic and short-haul destinations and not long-haul trips for which the A380 is primarily being used.
South Floridians curious to see this flying behemoth should be able to watch it land from vantage points south of the airport along Perimeter Road, including the 94th Aero Squadron restaurant at 1395 NW 57th Ave., Chin said.
A380 viewers need to be careful when pulling off the road if they plan to park along the roadway, he said.
The landing of the football-field-sized aircraft will be streamed live at miami-airport.com and also on jumbo television screens in the South Terminal at Concourse J’s International Greeters Lobby, on the third level.
On Friday, Lufthansa’s A380 will depart Miami for Frankfurt about 7:50 p.m. from Gate J-17. For its regular daily schedule, Flight 463 is expected to depart Miami at 4:10 p.m. for arrival in Frankfurt at 7:15 a.m. local time. The return Flight 462 will leave Frankfurt at 9:55 a.m. for arrival in Miami at 1:50 p.m., according to Lufthansa.