Caribb From Canada, joined Nov 1999, 1627 posts, RR: 9 Posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 2031 times:
I read in the Globe & Mail newspaper (Canada) that Lufthansa has planned to name one of it's new A340s the Gander-Halifax in recognition of the support the people of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia gave to the airline during the airline "downtime" of 9/11. Apparently it will be the first Lufthansa plane to have a name not associated with Germany. Nice touch LH! They will fly 20 people from the region to Germany for the ceremony.
Lufthansa to name plane after Halifax, Gander in thanks for Sept. 11 generosity
By KEVIN COX
Monday, April 8, 2002 – Print Edition, Page A9
HALIFAX -- A German airline whose planes were grounded in Halifax and Gander last September is planning to put the names of the two cities in the air this spring.
Lufthansa is naming one of its new passenger jets the Gander Halifax to thank the people in the two centres for their hospitality toward thousands of stranded passengers. The airline was forced to land 11 of its flights in Canada -- most of them on the East Coast -- when North American air space was closed for three days after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.
The christening of the Airbus 340 aircraft in mid-May will mark the first time in its 75-year history that Lufthansa has named a plane for a city outside Germany.
The airline hasn't formally announced the christening but a spokeswoman for the airline in New York confirmed the plan.
"We're going to honour the people who were so helpful to our passengers in Gander and Halifax," Beth Purdue said in an interview.
The airline is planning to fly 20 people from each of the two communities to Frankfurt in May for the ceremony where the plane will be named.
Thousands of passengers ended up sleeping in schools and arenas across the East Coast after their flights were grounded. Atlantic Canadians responded by opening up their homes to the travellers and providing food, clothing and even entertainment.
Gander mayor Claude Elliott said he's pleased the airline is going to honour the town of 10,000, which played host to more than 6,000 stranded people for five days after Sept. 11. But the town, which has been swamped with e-mails and letters of thanks since its role in looking after the passengers was broadcast last fall, did not want anything in return for its hospitality, he added.
"When they were all here [in September], some of the people from the airline came to my office and said they wanted to do something to thank us and they mentioned naming a plane," Mr. Elliott said. "We said that was fine but we weren't in this for any kind of glory. We did this because 6,000 people needed help."
He recalls the surreal atmosphere in the central Newfoundland town as flight after flight was forced to land at the Gander airport.
"It was like a Star Wars movie and we were part of it . . . only at the end you looked at the television screen and you saw the word 'live' and the reality really hit," he said. "I never expected to live to see something like that."
Many passengers who came off the planes without their luggage were overwhelmed by the care they received from their East Coast hosts.
Bedrettin Berkol, a cancer patient travelling from Turkey to Baltimore for treatment, said in an e-mail to the town that he had seen many disasters during his career in the air force but he had never seen a response like that of the Newfoundlanders.
He said a Gander woman took him and his wife into her home and gave them breakfast.
"Never have I seen as much enthusiasm and generosity as was displayed by your people at the Gander Academy," he wrote. "Teachers and administration personnel invited passengers to their homes for showers and whatever needs they might have had."
Caribb From Canada, joined Nov 1999, 1627 posts, RR: 9 Reply 3, posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 1979 times:
It could be they are talking about passenger jets only... anyways the fact it's the first or not is really not relevant... it's a nice gesture Lufthansa is making to the people that helped them during a very difficult period.