Airports ready for soccer spectacle

THE German national soccer team will arrive in South Africa for the World Cup in style.

THE German national soccer team will arrive in South Africa for the World Cup in style.

Lufthansa is laying on their newest acquisition - the Airbus A380 - for the German group.

Gabriel Leupold, managing director of Lufthansa and Swiss international airlines in southern and eastern Africa, says South African international airports are ready for the soccer spectacle.

Leupold announced the deployment of Lufthansa's Airbus A380 to Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport, making this their third Lufthansa destination for the new aircraft.

He said OR Tambo and other local airports were ready to welcome the world to South Africa.

"Over the last six years the airlines have experienced huge investment in South Africa. We can say with confidence that local airports are ready for 2010. The infrastructure is impressive."

He said he hoped more people would be interested incoming and watching the World Cup as it progressed.

Asked if stories about crime were discouraging people from coming, Leupold said there were a lot of stereotypes about South Africa in Europe but he did not think crime had a huge impact on people's plans.

"There is a lot of interest in the World Cup but the economy is not good in Europe at the moment. People are not coming because of economic reasons rather than stereotypes about South Africa."

He said there might be last-minute interest because there is a lot of curiosity about the country.

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