News

British Airways A380 arrives at Heathrow

4 Jul 2013 by Tom Otley

British Airways’ first A380-800 superjumbo aircraft landed at Heathrow today shortly after 1025.

Flight BAW380 flew in from the Airbus delivery centre in Toulouse after a handover ceremony between BA CEO Keith Williams, Eric Schulz, Rolls Royce President Civil Large Engines, and Fabrice Bregier, Airbus President and CEO.

Business Traveller was on aircraft G-XLEA.

BA A380 taxis at LHR

BA A380 takes off

BA A380 before take-off

BA announced that the first long-haul flight on the A380 to Los Angeles will be on September 24 with prices starting from £621 return, and the first to Hong Kong will be on October 22 with prices from £688 return.

BA’s A380 will join 12 daily A380 flights from London Heathrow (two by Qantas, three by Singapore Airlines, two by Malaysia Airlines and five by Emirates).

Keith Williams said: “Over the next 15 months, we will take delivery of new aircraft at the rate of one a fortnight as we put ourselves at the forefront of modern aviation.”

BA’s forthcoming aircraft include 12 A380s, 24 B787s, six B777-300ERs and ten A320s (52 in total).

Airbus currently has 262 confirmed orders for the A380, with another 20 signed at the Paris Airshow in recent weeks. It aims to deliver some 25 A380s this year.

BA A380 flight card

BA A380


BA is Airbus’ tenth customer and its aircraft is the 106th A380 delivered. Previous customers are Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Qantas, Lufthansa, Air France, Korean Air, Malaysia Airlines, China Southern and Thai Airways.

After BA, next up will be Qatar Airways (ten ordered) and then Etihad (ten ordered) – though additional deliveries to existing A380 customers will take place before that. Virgin Atlantic has six on order.

British Airways’ A380s carry 469 customers across four cabins. To see a seatplan, click here.

The seating details are:

First: 14 seats at the front of the main deck. BA says it is “evolved from the current First class with 30 per cent more personal space and 60 per cent more personal stowage”.

Club World (business class): 44 seats on the main deck, or 53 seats on the upper deck. These upper deck seats will feature a new 2-3-2 configuration across the cabin.

World Traveller Plus (premier economy): 55 seats on the upper deck.

World Traveller (economy): 303 seats on the main and upper deck.

British Airways has ordered 12 A380s for delivery by 2016. Three will arrive this year followed by a further five by the end of 2014.

The A380 will now begin a complex ‘entry into service’ programme, which will see pilot and cabin crew training taking place at Manston Airport in Kent, customer service trials at Heathrow and short-haul flying for both aircraft, including flights within the UK.

First: 14 suites (main deck)

BA A380

  • Suites offer 30 per cent more personal space and 60 per cent more personal stowage (including a larger in-suite wardrobe for each customer, designed to hold a standard-size wheelie bag and a side stowage box for smaller items such as passports, phone, and glasses) than first suites on other British Airways aircraft
  • Ergonomic seats convert into fully flat beds, 6ft 6ins in length
  • 15.4in personal in-flight entertainment touch screen and noise-cancelling headphones
  • Personal in-seat power socket providing 110v AC power compatible with UK/US/EU plugs
  • Two USB sockets providing power for personal devices
  • Customers are offered British Airways’ signature Turndown Service. Cabin crew will make up customers’ beds using a crisp white mattress, duvet, pillow and nightwear
  • Amenity kit with premium skincare products

Catering

  • Fine dining, à la carte and flexible dining options are on offer, alongside a wide selection of wine, spirits and non-alcoholic beverages
  • New champagne supper, including a choice of three variations of champagne and an à la carte menu featuring lighter meals than the ‘standard’ menu on departures after 10pm
  • Light Bites (savoury snacks, premium quality sweets, chocolate and liquid chocolate from Hotel Chocolat)


Club World: 97 seats (44 main deck and 53 upper deck)

BA A380 Club World

  • Seating is offered in new colours, including seat covers, side panels, back shell and tray table
  • New 2-3-2 seat configuration on the upper deck
  • Rear facing middle seat on upper deck offers additional interior storage space, e.g. for a laptop/iPad and extra flat surface for drinks and magazines. It also provides enhanced privacy for working and sleeping with aisle access in either direction
  • Improved footstool for easier use with three positions for taxiing, take off and landing
  • Redesigned, easier to use control buttons for seats
  • New easy to find button to operate the privacy screen
  • On the upper deck, side storage areas run the length of the aircraft, offering customers in window seats extra stowage capable of storing a laptop and other items
  • Seat converts into 6ft fully flat bed, Z position for increased comfort
  • 12.1in personal in-flight entertainment touch screen and noise-cancelling headphones
  • Two USB sockets providing power for personal devices
  • Personal in-seat power socket providing 110v AC power compatible with UK/US/EU plugs
  • Video RCA connection beneath USB socket to enable customers to connect their own digital equipment with the display screen
  • Crisp white quilt and pillow provided to aid sleeping
  • Amenity kit featuring Elemis products

Catering

  • Starter, main course and dessert/cheese service
  • Champagne supper offered on evening departures after 10pm, featuring a selection of canapés, a plated meat entrée, a choice of warm dessert/cheese


World Traveller Plus: 55 seats

BA A380 World Traveller

BA A380 World Traveller Plus

  • Seat offers a 38in pitch
  • On the upper deck, side storage areas run the length of the aircraft, offering customers in window seats extra stowage capable of taking a laptop and other items
  • 10.6in personal in-flight entertainment touch screen with noise-cancelling headphones
  • Personal in-seat power socket providing 110v AC power compatible with UK/US/EU plugs
  • Two USB sockets providing power for personal devices
  • Ultra soft fleece blanket, amenity kit and hot towel service

Catering

  • Pre-take off choice of sparkling wine or non-alcoholic drinks
  • Entrées from the Club World menu
  • Warm bread now offered
  • Complimentary snacks offered during flight
  • Three-course meal with choice of entrée, and main course from the Club World menu
  • Complimentary bar service


World Traveller: 303 seats (199 on main deck and 104 on upper deck)

BA A380 economy

BA A380 economy

  • Seat offers a 31in pitch
  • On the upper deck, side storage areas run the length of the aircraft, offering customers in window seats extra stowage, capable of housing a laptop and other items of luggage
  • Ultra soft fleece blanket and amenity kit
  • 8.9in personal in-flight entertainment touch screen
  • USB socket providing power for personal devices
  • Access to in-seat power socket providing 110v AV power compatible with UK/US/EU plugs

Catering

  • Three-course meal with choice of entrée
  • Complimentary bar service
  • Bar snacks

Fares

Prices to Los Angeles for travel from September 24 are:

  • World Traveller (economy) from £621 return for travel from September 24 to September 30
  • World Traveller Plus (premium economy) from £1,001 return for travel from September 24 to September 30
  • Club World (business class) from £2,550 return for travel September 24 to March 27
  • First from £3,799 return for travel from September 24 to March 27

All flights are subject to limited availability and selected travel dates

Prices to Hong Kong for travel from October 22, are:

  • World Traveller from £572 return
  • World Traveller Plus from £972 return
  • Club World from £2,499 return
  • First class from £5,800 return

All prices listed to Hong Kong for travel from October 22 to December 8.

All flights are subject to limited availability and selected travel dates.

ba.com

Tom Otley

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