Qantas Welcomes First Flight of Airbus A380

Sydney, 27 April 2005

Qantas today welcomed the first flight of the revolutionary new Airbus A380 aircraft in Toulouse, France.

The Chief Executive Officer of Qantas, Geoff Dixon, congratulated Airbus on achieving the milestone.

"The first flight of the A380 has been highly anticipated since Airbus revealed the new aircraft to the world earlier this year," Mr Dixon said.

"This is a significant milestone - for Airbus, for customer airlines such as Qantas and for the travelling public.

"Qantas is investing billions of dollars in the A380 and other aircraft to provide customers with the most modern and efficient fleet.

"The size of the A380 means we will be able to carry more people, further, than ever before and its technical capabilities will deliver real operational efficiencies and significant improvements in terms of environmental performance."

Mr Dixon said Qantas would operate its A380s in a three class, 501 seat configuration on international services between Australia and the United States and on the Kangaroo Route to the United Kingdom.

"The Qantas A380 will provide new levels of innovation, comfort and space for passengers," Mr Dixon said.

"We are finalising a range of major new product and service enhancements that will include new seat designs, special lounge areas, video on demand, internet capability and larger entertainment screens.

"Importantly, this investment will then flow through all of our international operations in coming years."

Qantas will take delivery of the first of 12 A380s in October 2006.

Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (3263)