The first regularly scheduled route on which British Airways will deploy the Airbus A380 will be London Heathrow-Los Angeles.
British Airways has confirmed that its first Airbus A380 will be dedicated to Los Angeles service. The aircraft will be the first A380 to be operated by a UK-based carrer.
The airline is due to receive its first double-decker Airbus A380 in July and seats are now available for purchase for A380 flights on the Los Angeles-London Heathrow route from October 15.
British Airways’ second A380 route will be London Heathrow-Hong Kong and customers can book flights now for travel from November 15.
To promote its Los Angeles A380 service, British Airways is offering introductory-price fares from Los Angeles. Fares in World Traveller economy start at $830 round-trip, including taxes. Seats in World Traveller Plus, the airline’s premium economy, begin from $1,380 round-trip.
Club World business class fares are from $3,800 round-trip. All fares include taxes, fees and carrier charges. The fare sale runs from March 5 to March 13, for selected travel dates. Seats are limited and subject to availability.
A380 enthusiasts eager to be on BA’s first commercial flights with the type should note that dates for these flights will be announced once the airline completes its plans for training flights.
The airline’s website, www.ba.com, will feature information on the new aircraft, including computer generated imagery, and a short film will be available via youtube to give customers a feel for the aircraft. Customers can book via British Airways’ website, by calling 800 AIRWAYS or by visiting a local travel agent.
The A380 will be the largest aircraft in the British Airways fleet, accommodating 469 passengers in four cabins. Passengers in First will be seated at the front of the main deck. The cabin will offer 14 seats and will represent an evolution of BA’s current First class service product.
Club World (business class) passengers can choose from 44 seats on the main deck, or 53 seats on the upper deck. The upper deck seats will feature a new 2-3-2 row 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 either the main or upper deck.
Both cabins will feature the airline’s current cabin design, which is now flying on its new Boeing 777-300ER fleet.
British Airways has ordered 12 Airbus A380s for delivery by 2016, as part of a £5 billion ($7.3 billion) investment over five years in new aircraft, smarter cabins, elegant lounges and new technologies to make travel for its passengers more comfortable in the air and on the ground.
“This will be a very special premiere,” says Keith Williams, British Airways’ chief executive. “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’ engineering base at London Heathrow Airport to support maintenance of the world’s largest commercial aircraft type.
This has included two 24-ton roof ‘eyebrows’ being lifted into place in one of the hangars to raise the height of the entrance to accommodate the A380’s 24-meter (78.75-foot) tail fin.
British Airways is officially due to receive its first Boeing 787 in May but this could be delayed as a result of the Boeing 787’s worldwide grounding after two battery incidents, one involving a fire on a Japan Airlines Boeing 787 on the ground at Boston Logan International Airport on January 7 and the other involving smoke pouring from a battery on an All Nippon Airways Dreamliner in-flight over Japan on January 16.
To date British Airways has not confirmed whether it will receive its first 787 in May or if the continuing grounding will force Boeing to postpone delivery of the aircraft to BA. When British Airways does receive its first 787, it will become the first airline to operate both the A380 and the Dreamliner.