Qantas Welcomes The A380
Sydney, 13 November 2005
Qantas has welcomed the arrival of the Airbus A380 into Sydney today.
The aircraft is visiting Australia to help Qantas celebrate its 85th birthday as part of its test flight program.
The Executive General Manager of Qantas, Mr John Borghetti, said the aircraft's visit to Australia provided a glimpse into the future of long distance air travel.
"Qantas has always been an industry leader when it comes to the selection of new aircraft types and this is certainly the case with the A380," Mr Borghetti said.
"This aircraft, will revolutionise air travel in much the same way as the Boeing 747 did in the 1960s and 70s.
"Not only will the A380 allow airlines to increase capacity on payload critical routes and into slot constrained airports such as London and Los Angeles, but it is already heralding a new approach to inflight services and customer comfort."
Mr Borghetti said Qantas had sought detailed feedback from its customers about what they wanted from their future long haul travel experience.
"We have completed the design work on our First, Business and Economy cabins, and - while we are not ready to reveal exactly what the Qantas A380 will offer - we believe we will exceed out customers' expectations by providing new levels of space, comfort and service," Mr Borghetti said.
"The Australian designer of Qantas' award-winning Skybed, Marc Newson, has been involved in nearly every aspect of the design process to create a truly state-of-the-art cabin product and environment."
Features of the Qantas A380 will include:
* a completely redesigned First Class product;
* an enhanced version of Skybed in Business;
* a new seat type in Economy;
* special lounge areas;
* audio and video on demand;
* internet capability; and
* larger entertainment screens for all customers.
Mr Borghetti said that, over time, the innovations made possible by the A380 would be installed across Qantas' entire long haul international fleet.
Qantas has 12 Airbus A380s on order, as well as options for a further 12.
The first aircraft will be delivered in April 2007, with all 12 scheduled for delivery by June 2009.
The A380 will be utilised on Qantas' trans-Pacific and kangaroo routes to Los Angeles and London. The first 12 aircraft will enable the airline to fly at least 17 weekly services between Australia and Los Angeles and 14 weekly services between Australia and London via Singapore and Hong Kong.
"As previously announced, the first Qantas A380 will be named after aviatrix Nancy Bird Walton after which we will honour other pioneers as part of a new tradition in naming our aircraft," Mr Borghetti said.
Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (3353)