Construction has begun on British Airways’ first super jumbo, the Airbus A380, due for delivery next year.
British Airways has ordered 12 of the world’s roomiest aircraft, the A380, and 24 Boeing 787 Dreamliners, which means it is on track to be first airline in the world to have both new aircraft types in its fleet.
Routes for the airline’s first A380 and B787 will be announced in due course.
Keith Williams, British Airways’ chief executive said: “We’re really excited that work has started on building the first of our 12 Airbus A380s.
“They represent a significant part of a huge investment by British Airways, of £5bn over the next five years in new aircraft, smarter cabins, elegant lounges, and new technologies to make life more comfortable in the air and on the ground.
“Our teams across the airline have been working in partnership with Airbus to ensure that preparations are well underway for us to receive this pioneering and leading edge aircraft, so that it goes smoothly into service for British Airways for the first time next year.
“Until then, we’ll continue working towards the successful delivery of both the A380 and B787, to ensure our customers have a fantastic flying experience on these amazing aircraft.”
The first parts of the A380 to be constructed are the forward fuselage and the aft fuselage sections which are being assembled and equipped in Hamburg.
Other parts of the fuselage such as the nose and the centre sections are being assembled in Saint Nazaire and Meaulte in France, as well as the tailfin in Stade (France), while the horizontal tail plane is manufactured in Spain.
Meanwhile, the undercarriage is being assembled in Canada and France, the wings in Broughton in Lancashire, and the Rolls Royce engines in Derbyshire.
Dedicated teams across British Airways are working behind the scenes for the entry into service of both the A380 and B787 Dreamliner later next year.
Work has involved teams from engineering, flight operations, cabin and flight crew, customer services, ground and airport operations, marketing, IT, strategy and planning to ensure both aircraft move swiftly into service.
Last year British Airways completed the latest phase of a multi-million pound redevelopment of its Heathrow engineering base to prepare for the arrival of the new fleet of A380s, B787s and Boeing 777-300s.
This included a new 24 tonne roof ‘eyebrow’ which was lifted into place in one of the aircraft hangars, which raised the height of the entrance to accommodate the A380’s 24 metre tailfin.