British Airways takes first UK delivery of Airbus A380 double-decker superjumbo

The delivery follows that last week of two Boeing Dreamliner aircraft as part of a £10bn British Airway's plan to upgrade its long-haul fleet

British Airways has become the first airline in the UK to take delivery of an Airbus A380 superjumbo.

The airliner, which is the world's largest passenger plane, was handed over by European plane-making company Airbus at its Toulouse headquarters in France before being flown into Heathrow airport with BA's chief executive Keith Williams among those on board.

The huge double-decker plane is set to make its first commercial long-haul flight with BA to Los Angeles on September 24, and its first flight to Hong Kong on October 22.

The delivery of the superjumbo follows that last week of two Boeing Dreamliner aircraft as part of a £10bn British Airway's plan to upgrade its long-haul fleet.

The A380, which is powered by Rolls-Royce engines, and is fitted with wings built in the UK, is 238ft-long, 79ft high, with wings that are 54% larger than those of the Boeing 747 jumbo jet.

It can reach a speed of 587mph and has a range of 9,500 miles, it is said to be 50% quieter on take-off.

Those travelling on the plane will find a lot of room inside as BA is configuring the massive, 238ft-long A380 to take 469 passengers, slightly fewer than some of the other superjumbo-operating airlines.

There will be just 14 seats in first class, with customers seated at the front of the main deck. They will get 30% more space than those in first class on "normal" BA planes.

The A380 first-class passengers will enjoy nightwear, a turndown service, fine dining, a champagne supper and 15-inch entertainment screens.

BA's chief executive Keith Williams said: "The A380 is a fantastic aircraft and an excellent showpiece for British engineering. Our customers are going to love the space, light and comfort on board."

Mr Williams continued: "The delivery of these exciting aircraft opens a new chapter in British Airways' history. We are proud to be leading the way in Europe in operating both these aircraft types.

He added: "These deliveries form the centrepiece of the £5 billion investment BA is making in new aircraft, smarter cabins, superb lounges and new technologies to make travel more comfortable in the air and on the ground.

"Both aircraft types make major environmental advances and will contribute toward our ambitious targets for noise and carbon reduction."

As the giant aircraft pulled up outside the BA hangar, Captain James Basnett waved a union flag from the cockpit as BA staff cheered.

Mr Williams emerged from the huge plane to declare: "This is the future of the airline."

Business and Energy Minister Michael Fallon said: "I was impressed by the British Airways A380 when I saw it for myself at the Paris Air show last month. I am proud that around 40% of this iconic aircraft is made in the UK by a range of aerospace manufacturers of all sizes - from our large global companies through to small enterprises.

"With its Rolls-Royce Trent engines and state-of-the-art wings, the A380 slashes travel emissions while boosting efficiency. Coupled with British Airways, a world-leading airline, the A380 really is a great example of the best of British in aviation."

Those travelling in first class on the A380 to Los Angeles between September 2013 and the end of March 2014 will pay from £3,799 return for their trips, with the first-class fare for the period October 22 to December 8 2013 to Hong Kong starting at £5,800.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
glastonbury
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Shock of the news: Jake Gyllenhaal in ‘Nightcrawler’
filmReview: Gyllenhaal, in one of his finest performances, is funny, engaging and sinister all at once
Life and Style
Taste the difference: Nell Frizzell tucks into a fry-up in Jesse's cafe in east London
food + drinkHow a bike accident left one woman living in a distorted world in which spices smell of old socks and muesli tastes like pork fat
Arts and Entertainment
Kit Harington has been given a huge pay rise to extend his contract as Jon Snow in Game of Thrones
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Don’t send in the clowns: masks and make-up conceal true facial expressions, thwarting our instinct to read people’s minds through their faces, as seen in ‘It’
filmThis Halloween, we ask what makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?
News
peopleFarage challenges 'liberally biased' comedians to 'call him a narcissist'
Arts and Entertainment
Liam and Zayn of One Direction play with a chimpanzee on the set of their new video for 'Steal My Girl'
music
Arts and Entertainment
Young Fathers are the surprise winners of this year's Mercury Music Prize
music
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior IP Opportunity at Major Firm

vary Attractive Salary: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - AN OPENING AT A VERY HIGH Q...

Nursery Manager

£100 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Ilford: Nursery Manager Long term Ran...

Sales Consultant – Permanent – West Sussex – £24-£25k plus commission and other benefits

£24000 - £25000 Per Annum plus company car and commission: Clearwater People S...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£45 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Supply SEN Support Jobs in Bris...

Day In a Page

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes