British Airways (BA) has become the tenth operator to receive an Airbus A380 after taking delivery of the first of 12 aircraft on order. BA is the first UK operator of the A380 and will start to deploy its new flagship aircraft on routes from London Heathrow to Los Angeles and Hong Kong.
After a handover ceremony at Airbus’ delivery centre in Toulouse with Keith Williams, British Airways CEO, Eric Schulz, Roll-Royce President Civil Large Engines, Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO and other senior executives, BA’s first A380 is being flown to the UK carrier’s home base at London Heathrow where the cabin is being unveiled.
British Airways’ chief executive Keith Williams said: “We’re delighted to be the first UK airline taking delivery of the A380. It is a great aircraft that has been developed with huge amounts of British engineering ingenuity and we believe it will prove very popular with our customers when it starts flying to its first destination of Los Angeles.”
“It is a very proud moment for everyone at Airbus to see our A380 in the livery of British Airways, one of the world’s most pioneering airlines. With this new flagship in their fleet, the British carrier opens a new era of long-haul flying and offers its passengers an all-new travel experience”, said Airbus President and CEO, Fabrice Brégier. “It is a special day for UK industry too, as a significant proportion of this amazing aircraft was designed and built at Airbus’ UK sites in Filton and Broughton, as well as at our many partners’ facilities across the country.”
All BA’s A380s will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines. Airbus currently has 262 firm orders for the A380, from 20 customers.
The A380 is capable of flying 8,500 nautical miles or 15,700 kilometres non-stop, carrying more people at lower cost and with less impact on the environment. The spacious, quiet cabin and smooth ride have made the A380 a firm favourite with both airlines and passengers, resulting in higher load factors wherever it flies. The A380 also provides vital extra passenger capacity without increasing the number of flights, and is therefore part of the solution for sustainable growth at congested airports.
To date, 40 million passengers have already enjoyed the unique experience of flying on board an A380. Every five minutes, an A380 either takes off or lands at one of the 30 airports where it operates today and the network is constantly growing.