Qantas has become the first airline to
operate commercial A380 flights between Australia and the US West Coast,
as its inaugural A380 service departed Melbourne for Los Angeles.
The flight left Melbourne at 11.15am, and is scheduled to land in Los
Angeles at 7.30am, where it will be met by Qantas Ambassador-at-Large John
Travolta, Australian entertainment legend Olivia Newton-John and Los
Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
The Chief Executive Officer of Qantas, Mr Geoff Dixon, said Qantas’
decision to fly its first commercial service to the United States was a
mark of its commitment to growing the trans-Pacific market.
“We have operated air services between Australia and the United States
since 1954 and have invested significantly over our 54 years of operation
to develop these routes.
“Today, we offer 47 services a week to the US, plus daily extensions to New
York. In fact, we offer more services to the USA than any other
international market with the exception of New Zealand,” he said.
Mr Dixon said Qantas would follow its Melbourne-Los Angeles inaugural A380
service with its first Sydney-Los Angeles service on Friday, 24 October.
The Qantas A380 is configured with 450 seats in four cabins - 14 in First
Class, 72 in Business Class, 32 in Premium Economy and 332 in Economy Class
- with interiors designed by world renowned Australian industrial designer
and Qantas Creative Director Marc Newson.
Mr Dixon said Qantas would take delivery of three A380 aircraft by the end
of 2008, and have eight in service by the end of 2009. Its 20-strong order
would be delivered by the end of 2013.
“By the end of 2009, when our eighth aircraft has been delivered, Qantas
will offer daily A380 services to Los Angeles from Melbourne.”
He said the airline’s first A380 services to London, via Singapore, would
commence in January 2009.
The first Qantas A380 is named Nancy-Bird Walton after the 92 year-old
Australian aviation pioneer.