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Qantas’ A380 set for October debut

14 May 2008 by Mark Caswell
Australian airline Qantas has decided to operate its first Airbus A380 across the Pacific to Los Angeles. It had been thought that Qantas would have chosen its busy and famous kangaroo route to London to launch its superjumbo, but in the end the carrier opted for the US. Qantas will not reveal the exact date in October when the first flight from Melbourne will take place. But it’s likely the A380 will appear on non-stop flights QF93 and QF94 which operate to Los Angeles from Melbourne.  These are amongst the longest flight sectors on the Aussie carrier’s network. Initially the single A380 will only be able to operate three or four times a week with services operated on the other days, as at present, with the B747-400. Current timings for QF93 call for a departure at 1025 with a same day arrival (after crossing the date line) in Los Angeles at 0730.  Flight time is 14hr 5mins. In the return direction, QF94 departs Los Angeles at 2340 to land in Melbourne two days later at 0755, with a flight time of 15 hrs 15 mins. Qantas’ A380 will provide United (its main rival) with keen competition. Not only do United’s flights take longer (because they are not non-stop) but it operates B747-400s and, in common with other US carriers, has no plans to purchase any A380s. Meanwhile the first images of Qantas’ A380 with its interior have been published on the website of Australia's Herald Sun newspaper: http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/gallery/0,22010,5031631-5006020-1,00.html The pictures show that Qantas has followed SIA in locating first class on the A380’s lower deck with business class upstairs. It is not clear where premium economy will be located but it’s likely to be upstairs, behind business class.  Economy class will be on the lower deck behind first class and will feature a self-service area for food and drink. For more information go to qantas.com. Report by Alex McWhirter
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