British Airways has become the first airline in the UK to take delivery of an Airbus A380 superjumbo.
The first of 12 superjumbos ordered by BA, the plane landed at Heathrow airport this morning. BA’s A380 will join 12 daily A380 flights from London Heathrow – two by Qantas, three by Singapore Airlines, two by Malaysia Airlines and five by Emirates.
BA said that that the first long-haul flight on the A380 to Los Angeles will be on September 24, with prices starting from £621 return, and the first to Hong Kong will be on October 22 with prices from £688 return. The planes, the world’s largest passenger planes, can carry 469 passengers each.
BA’s chief executive, Keith Williams, said: ‘The A380 is a fantastic aircraft and an excellent showpiece for British engineering. Our customers are going to love the space, light and comfort on board.’
‘The delivery of these exciting aircraft opens a new chapter in British Airways’ history. We are proud to be leading the way in Europe in operating both these aircraft types,’ he added.
The A380’s arrival follows the delivery of two Boeing Dreamliner aircraft last week. BA is currently spending GBP10bn to upgrade its long-haul fleet. It has also bought six new Boeing 777-300ERs and 18 Airbus A350 aircraft.
‘Over the next 15 months, we will take delivery of new aircraft at the rate of one a fortnight as we put ourselves at the forefront of modern aviation,’ Williams said.
BA is Airbus’ tenth customer. The earlier customers include Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Lufthansa, Korean Air, China Southern, Air France and Thai Airways. Singapore Airlines was the first carrier to operate an A380, operating its first flight in October 2008. Virgin Atlantic is due to take the first of the six A380s it has ordered in 2018.