The home of Hollywood will be the inaugural destination for the first A380 to be operated by a UK airline. The double-decker super jumbo is due to be delivered to British Airways in July and seats are now on sale for flights from 15 October 2013.
In celebration, the airline is launching with an offer to Los Angeles. Fares start at £499 return in World Traveller (economy) with a special £380 upgrade available for customers wanting to move up to World Traveller Plus (premium economy). Club World (business) return fares start from £3,800 for two people (£1,900 each).
The second A380 route will be to Hong Kong, and customers can book flights now for travel from 15 November 2013. Prices start from £559 return in economy or, for an additional £380, customers can upgrade to World Traveller Plus. Club World tickets again start from £3,800 for two people (£1,900 each).
A380 enthusiasts eager to be on the very first commercial services should note that dates for these will be announced once plans for training flights are completed.
The A380 will be the largest aircraft in the British Airways fleet, accommodating 469 customers across four cabins. Customers in First will be seated at the front of the main deck. The cabin will offer 14 seats and is evolved from the current First class. Club World (business class) customers can choose from 44 seats on the main deck, or 53 seats on the upper deck. These upper deck seats will feature a new 2:3:2 configuration across the cabin. The 55 World Traveller Plus (premier economy) seats will be located on the upper deck while World Traveller (economy) customers can choose seats on both the main and upper deck. Both cabins will feature the airline’s current design, which is now flying on the new B777-300ER fleet.
The aircraft’s innovative design makes it much quieter during take-off and landing and more fuel efficient than its predecessors. British Airways has ordered 12 for delivery by 2016 as part of a £5bn investment over five years in new aircraft, smarter cabins, elegant lounges, and new technologies to make life more comfortable in the air and on the ground.
Keith Williams, British Airways’ chief executive, said: “This will be a very special premiere. The A380 is a great aircraft that has been developed with huge amounts of British engineering ingenuity. London and Los Angeles are two world-leading cities, and we are proud to be the first airline to connect them with the A380.”
The arrival of the A380 has entailed a multi-million pound redevelopment of British Airways’ Heathrow engineering base to support maintenance of the world’s largest commercial aircraft type. This included two 24-tonne roof ‘eyebrows’ being lifted into place in one of the hangars to raise the height of the entrance to accommodate the A380’s 24-metre tailfin.
The airline’s website, www.ba.com will feature information on the new aircraft, including computer generated imagery (CGI) and a short film will be available via youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgN3NaxxWsg to give customers a feel for the aircraft. Customers can book via the website or by calling 0844 493 0787.