Big news for travelers to Germany: Frankfurt Airport’s (FRA) new Pier A-Plus, the 2,624-foot-long westward expansion of Terminal 1, opened last week on schedule after about four years of construction. Flight operations begin on October 10 at the new pier, allowing Germany’s biggest hub to serve up to six million additional passengers per year for a total of approximately 65 million passengers annually. The terminal complex will be exclusively used by Deutsche Lufthansa AG and its Star Alliance partners. In particular, Pier A-Plus provides more docking positions for serving widebody aircraft like the Airbus A380 superjumbo and the Boeing B747 family.
With 1,991,323 square feet of total useable floor space, Pier A-Plus is the largest above-ground construction project at Frankfurt Airport since the opening of Terminal 2 in 1994. It provides seven docking positions for long-haul aircraft: four designed for double-decker jets like the A380 superjumbo served by three passenger bridges (one for the upper deck and two for the main deck); and three more positions with two passenger bridges for aircraft like the Boeing 747-8 and Airbus 340. Alternatively, eleven narrow body jets can be handled simultaneously at Pier A-Plus.
The new pier makes the transfer processes significantly easier and faster at Lufthansa’s biggest hub. In the future, all incoming flights from the U.S. will be handled at Area A of Terminal 1. The minimum connecting for many transfer flights on these routes will be reduced from currently 60 minutes to 45 minutes. Furthermore, the so-called docking rate will increase noticeably. That means that more aircraft can directly dock on the terminal and do not have to be parked at remote apron positions, letting passengers board and disembark directly rather than take a bus to the terminal.
Pier A-Plus has five Lufthansa lounges: one First Class, two Senator and two Business lounges (pictured). These facilities expand Lufthansa’s total lounge space at FRA by almost 50 percent to more than 150,695 square feet. Nice touch: The waiting areas have seats with integrated power outlets and USB ports for electronic devices.