Angela Merkel began her visit by officially opening Lufthansa’s new traffic control center in Frankfurt. The Integrated Operations Control Center (IOCC) unites traffic control with the coordination of ground operations at Lufthansa’s home hub in Frankfurt.
Carsten Spohr, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of the Lufthansa Group, presented the new traffic control center to the Federal Chancellor; in the IOCC a total of 160 employees per shift supervise and control flights, passenger flow and ground events day and night.
Dr. Merkel then met apprentices training in various occupations at a Lufthansa Technik training aircraft in a hangar. With approximately 37,000 employees, the Lufthansa Group is the largest employer in Hesse; year for year young people receive training in more than 30 occupations. In this summer alone 250 apprentices started apprenticeships with various Lufthansa Group companies, 150 of those in Frankfurt. This year Lufthansa will also hire 1,400 flight attendants, who have either already finished their training in 2015, or who are currently still in training.
The highlight of Federal Chancellor Angela Markel’s visit was the naming of an Airbus A380. During a festive ceremony the Federal Chancellor named the A380 - which is the 14th such aircraft in Lufthansa’s fleet and is registered under D-AIMN - “Deutschland”. The Chancellor poured champagne on the hull of the aircraft and spoke a few ceremonial words to mark the occasion. This was followed by the Federal Chancellor and Carsten Spohr signing the naming certificate. Today the freshly named A380 “Deutschland” will take off at 10:20 CET enroute to San Francisco.