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Airbus A380 Flies With British Airways: A New Sense Of Global Competition..!

British Airways received its first Airbus A380  becoming the first airline operator in the UK, which is going to deploy the “Superjumbo” for interconnecting the London Heathrow Airport with US and Asian destinations:

British Airways takes delivery of its first of 12 Airbus A380

British Airways (BA) has become the tenth operator to receive an Airbus A380 after taking delivery of the first of 12 aircraft on order. BA is the first UK operator of the A380 and will start to deploy its new flagship aircraft on routes from London Heathrow to Los Angeles and Hong Kong. After a handover ceremony at Airbus’ delivery centre in Toulouse with Keith Williams, British Airways CEO, Eric Schulz, Roll-Royce President Civil Large Engines, Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO and other senior executives, BA’s first A380 is being flown to the UK carrier’s home base at London Heathrow where the cabin is being unveiled. British Airways’ chief executive Keith Williams said: “We’re delighted to be the first UK airline taking delivery of the A380. It is a great aircraft that has been developed with huge amounts of British engineering ingenuity and we believe it will prove very popular with our customers when it starts flying to its first destination of Los Angeles.” “It is a very proud moment for everyone at Airbus to see our A380 in the livery of British Airways, one of the world’s most pioneering airlines. With this new flagship in their fleet, the British carrier opens a new era of long-haul flying and offers its passengers an all-new travel experience”, said Airbus President and CEO, Fabrice Brégier. “It is a special day for UK industry too, as a significant proportion of this amazing aircraft was designed and built at Airbus’ UK sites in Filton and Broughton, as well as at our many partners’ facilities across the country.”

A380 British Airways 1

The A380 giant of skies, is cleverly designed for fulfilling British Airways needs, as the new economy seats offer more comfort for the passengers:

BRITISH AIRWAYS’ NEW A380 – Daily Mail

British Airways took delivery of its new double-decker ‘superjumbo’ which airline bosses say will herald a new era for the nation’s flagship airline. BA says passengers will find its new £270million Airbus A380 bigger, more spacious, more comfortable, quieter and ‘greener’ than the ageing Jumbo jets it replaces – with fresher in-flight air to boot. The giant of the skies touched down at Heathrow in London, waved on by cheering BA staff who welcomed its arrival. The plane is the first of a dozen of A380s ordered by British Airways ahead of the model going into service in the autumn.  British Airways chief executive Keith Williams was at Airbus’s factory in Toulouse today to sign for hand-over and delivery of his first new A380 plane before flying in it with a small group of journalists – including myself – to BA’s main engineering base at London’s Heathrow Airport.  The new double-decker superjumbo – whose high-tech British-built wings support up to 100,000 UK jobs – will be shown off alongside a Boeing 787 Dreamliner at the Hatton Cross site. British Airways is also the first airline in Europe to operate both the Airbus A380 and the rival Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the first two of which landed at Heathrow last week. The vast superjumbo planes can theoretically carry up to 800 people – provided all the passengers are squeezed into narrow economy-sized seats. But British Airways’ new A380s is making do with just 469 passengers across four classes of cabin classes – with lucrative First and Business class passengers paying a hefty premium for the privilege. The airline has announced that the first long-haul return flight from London Heathrow to Los Angeles on September 24 is priced from £621 in economy to £2,550 in business and  £3,799 in First, while the first Hong Kong return on October 22 is priced from £688 in economy to £2,499 in business and £5,800 in First. Legroom is 31 inches in economy, 38 inches in premium economy, there’s a 6ft-long bed in business class (Club World) and a luxurious 6ft 6 inch-long bed in First Class.  But BA add that the new economy seats have been cleverly designed to be thinner-backed and hollowed out to increase seating space for passengers. In addition, Airbus points out that the A380 has 50 per cent more floor-space than a Boeing 747 Jumbo jet – but the number of passengers is just 30 per cent more – meaning each one has more space.

More importantly, the British Airways by putting the new planes into service is innovatively trying to cope with harsh international competition:

BA welcomes first Airbus A380 jet – Arab News

BA’s ageing long-haul fleet has put it at a “cost and quality” disadvantage to rivals, especially deep pocketed Middle Eastern carriers such as Emirates, which run newer, more cost-effective planes that are also more comfortable and better equipped, according to Davy analyst Stephen Furlong. BA, part of International Airlines Group (IAG), received the first of its new Boeing 787 Dreamliners last month, making it the first airline in Europe to fly both new planes once commercial operations begin. The aircraft are the centerpiece of a ten-year, $15 billion upgrade to BA’s long-haul fleet, which will include retiring older and less fuel-efficient Boeing 747-400 jumbos. IAG will need to wring all the profit it can from its new jets if operational problems at its Spanish carrier Iberia continue to wipe out progress at BA. IAG, Europe’s third-biggest airline group by market value, made an operating loss of 278 million euros ($ 361 million) in the first three months of this year, with Iberia causing 202 million of that as it suffered from competition from low-cost rivals and high-speed trains and labor disputes. BA broke even during the quarter, helped by business and first-class traffic. BA has 12 A380s and 42 Dreamliners on order for delivery over the next ten years. The A380 is built for use between major international airports, while the Dreamliner is intended for less busy routes and uses lightweight technology. Sales of the A380 have been sluggish over the last five years, with Airbus announcing 262 orders, of which 105 are now in service. Attention has turned to smaller, lighter planes like the Airbus A350 and the Dreamliner.

Finally, it is for sure that smaller aircraft (A350 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner) have to play a crucial role in covering the needs of international flight routes, but the A380 has for certain to play its special role in global flight competition.

 



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