Posts Tagged 'Airbus A380 routes'

First China Southern Airbus A380

SkyTeam member China Southern Airlines took delivery of its first Airbus A380 superjumbo in Tolouse, France in mid-October – adding it to service just four days later – becoming the seventh airlines in the world (and the third in SkyTeam) to operate the largest bird in the skies today. China Southern is the first operator of the A380 in the world, that deploys it on domestic routes.

The first Chinese owned double-decker airplane has 508 seats, that puts it in the middle of the field of airlines operating the super-jumbo. Interestingly, Korean Air has “only” 407 – the difference of 101 seats is about a regional jet’s capacity (!) – while Air France has 538 seats on the same size aircraft. The 58th A380 delivered by Airbus is the first to go to China, to the largest Asian airlines company. China Southern operates the largest Airbus flee in Asia with almost 200 European made planes as part of a fleet with a total of 422 aircraft, and has 4 more A380’s on order.

The world’s largest passenger jetliner at China Southern has 8 fully lie-flat reclining seats in “Platinum” suites (First Class), 70 in Business (1-2-1 layout) and 428 seats in Economy (3-4-3 layout). Passengers’ well–being will be enhanced through the onboard innovative mood lighting system including several different illumination scenarios to create a relaxing atmosphere and environment. The state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment system makes it easy for passengers to select from a wide variety of audio and video programs and make their long-haul A380 trip something to remember. The cabin also offers seats and lavatories that are easily accessible to disabled passengers. The airplane is powered by 4 Rolls-Royce Trent-900 engines.

We are proud to become the first A380 operator in China,” said CZ chairman Si Xianmin. “The introduction of the A380 in our fleet is a very important step for the development of China Southern. The economics offered by the A380 will undoubtedly improve our competitiveness on international routes and is the perfect asset to make China Southern Airlines achieve its goal of becoming a leading global carrier,” he said.

The aircraft type was first operated on the Beijing-Guangzhou route between 18-26 October, and on the Beijing-Shanghai Hongqiao route, between 27-29 October. China Southern plans to start using the A380 on international service as well, the first such route being the Guangzhou-Paris route. The launch date for this service has not yet been unveiled. The other existing A380 operators – Singapore Airlines, EmiratesQantas AirwaysAir FranceLufthansa, and Korean Air – only deploy the aircraft on international services. For 2012, A380 deliveries to Malaysia Airlines and Thai Airways are on the list.

Four years of operation show that airlines who fly the A380 increase capacity, gain market share and improve load factors – with an A380 now taking off or landing every 15 minutes,” explained Airbus President and CEO Tom Enders at the hand-over ceremony in Tolouse. To date, A380s have flown more than 350,000 hours and carried over 16 million passengers, while serving 25 major cities worldwide, including flights that link the Middle East and Europe to Beijing and Shanghai in China. Guangzhou will be a new A380 destination with the China Southern’s domestic service, though.

by balint01

Airbus A380 News

With 19 Airbus A380s already in service around the world, it’s time to take a look at the latest Airbus A380 news – following our latest updates about new flights and operational issues.

Singapore Airlines - 9 A380s in service – 5 (+ 1) routes

The launch customer of the Airbus A380 superjumbo  – since October 2007 – has already received 9 of the type and has brought the A380 to 7 cities so far. More than 1.4 million customers have flown on its A380s that have clocked more than 35,000 flying hours on more than 4,000 flights since the start of commercial service. Following the first flight to Hong Kong in early July, Melbourne in Australia will be the latest airport to receive the A380 service with 471 seats on board in three classes, following Singapore, Sydney, London, Tokyo, Paris and Hong Kong – when the first flight will land in the second most popolous Australian city on 29 September, 2009. The daily A380 flights will replace an existing daily Boeing 747-400 service to Melbourne. SQ227 will depart Singapore Changi Airport at 2100hrs and arrive in Melbourne at 0610hrs (0710hrs from 4 October 2009 due to daylight savings) the next day. On the return leg, SQ228 will depart Melbourne at 1550hrs (1650hrs from 4 October 2009) and touch down in Singapore at 2140hrs.

Emirates – 6 A380s in service – 5 (+ 2) routes

Emirates currently has the largest order placed for the doubledecker aircraft and has already received 6 of the type. Starting in July 2008, Emirates have been serving London Heathrow, Sydney, and Auckland. Since the 1st of June they have been operating the A380 to the Thai capital of Bangkok on a daily flight and to Toronto in Canada, three times weekly. The next Asian destination for the Emirates A380 will be the Korean capital, Seoul, from the 1st of December. The 489 seat, 3 class configuration Emirates A380 features two fully equipped bathrooms with showers and an onboard bar for first and business class passengers as a specialty. In Europe, the next airport served will be Paris Charles de Gaulle from 1st of February, 2010. But Emirates will operate a single service to UK’s Birmingham to mark the Airport’s 70th birthday on September 9th, 2009. This will be the first commercial A380 service outside of London Heathrow in the UK and will park at the new Pier of Birmingham Airport – which opens on the same day with the Emirates A380 as the first aircraft being served there.

Qantas - 4 A380s in service – 4 routes

Qantas has been operating the A380 is its fleet since October 2008. The fourth A380 arrives to Australia at the end of July, allowing Qantas to increase its Sydney-Singapore-London A380 services from three to five per week, and Sydney-Los Angeles services from three to four per week. The fifth and sixth airplane scheduled to arrive in 2009 will further increase the frequency between Australia and the UK and the US, as by November Qantas will operate daily A380 services to London and LA and will increase the Melbourne-Los Angeles services from two to three A380 flights per week. By the end of 2009 this will mean 34 return flights per week. The 450 seat, four-class configuration aircraft type has so far transported more than 200.000 passengers at the Australian flag-carrier.

A380 in new AirFrance Livery

+ Air France - 0 A380s in service – (+1) route

Air France – the first European operator of the type – has rolled out the airplane in its new livery on the 9th of July. This airplane is scheduled to enter service in November on a daily Paris Charles de Gaulle – New York JFK service. It is interesting that Emirates had operated the A380 to New York JFK before, but has since withdrawn the aircraft from the route. The French A380 will be configured for 538 passengers in a three-cabin layout with 80 business and 106 economy seats on the upper deck and nine first class and 343 economy seats on the main deck. That compares with 450 seats on Qantas A380s, 471 on Singapore Airlines and 489 on Emirates. CEO Pierre-Henri Gourgeon said in a recent conversation in Paris to Airwise News that Air France’s A380s would not be equipped with special luxury features specifically designed for the double-deck aircraft like spas or spacious premium suites. “It’s an aircraft, an aircraft offering high-density seating and thus offering lower unit costs,” he said. “We will use it as such.” AirFrance will be the first European airline to operate the A380 and the first to use it on transatlantic flights between Europe and the US. It has 12 on order, four of which will start operating this winter and next spring.

by balint01


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