A380 Revealed to Qantas and the World

TOULOUSE, 18 January 2005

Qantas Airways said today it would make aviation history with its first A380 aircraft by operating the longest 500-passenger service in the world, flying between Melbourne and Los Angeles.

The Chief Executive Officer of Qantas, Mr Geoff Dixon, said Qantas would deploy its first four Airbus A380 aircraft, seating 501 passengers, on services between Australia and the United States of America, including both Melbourne-Los Angeles (12,749 km) and Sydney-Los Angeles (12,052).

"No aircraft in the history of commercial aviation has been able to carry as many passengers over such a distance on regular scheduled services.

"To put it simply, the A380 will enable Qantas to carry more people, further, than ever before.

"The A380 with its size and technical capabilities will change the way predominantly long haul airlines such as Qantas conduct their business," Mr Dixon said.

Qantas has ordered 12 A380 aircraft with options for 10 more, with the first aircraft being delivered in October 2006.

"The purchase of the A380 continues Qantas' multi-billion dollar program to provide the most up-to-date and efficient fleet," Mr Dixon said.

Speaking at the first public viewing of the A380 in Toulouse, France, today, Mr Dixon said Qantas' first 12 A380s would enable the airline to fly at least 17 weekly services between Australia and Los Angeles and 14 weekly services between Australia and London via Bangkok, Hong Kong and Singapore.

He said Qantas' capacity on both routes would continue to be bolstered by the use of long-range Boeing 747-400 aircraft.

Mr Dixon said Qantas and Airbus had been in constant discussions with authorities in Los Angeles and at Los Angeles International Airport, and were confident that the airport would be ready to receive the A380.

"Despite its size, the A380 will be one of the quietest aircraft flying, as well as offering other obvious benefits such as capacity and operating savings."

Mr Dixon said the Qantas interior design for its A380 aircraft would provide new levels of comfort for its passengers and would feature, among other things:

* special lounge areas in the First, Business and Economy sections;
* facilities for business meetings and business presentations; and
* video on demand, internet capability and larger entertainment screens in all seats.

He said the A380 interior cabin design was being coordinated by Paris-based Australian designer Marc Newson, who had designed the airline's multi-award winning Business Class sleeper seat, Skybed.

The design for the Qantas A380 First Class cabin had been completed, with Business and Economy Class cabin designs nearing completion.

Mr Dixon said the A380 First Class provided passengers with greater space, comfort and privacy.

He said Business Class would feature an enhanced version of Skybed, and the design work was being carried out with the aim of installing it progressively on Qantas' other international aircraft.

Economy Class would also be substantially improved in terms of space for passengers, entertainment and seating.

Mr Dixon said Qantas was working with a variety of international suppliers on its interiors, including Panasonic for the new entertainment system and B&B Italia on furniture detailing.

First Class seating is being manufactured by BE Aerospace in the United States, as is Skybed, and the new Economy Class seats are being produced by German company, Recaro.

Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (3202)