On Friday morning, British Airways flew its first fare paying passengers on the new A380.
British Airways daily flight BA 902 from Heathrow to Frankfurt, departing at just after 07:00, is usually operated by a somewhat ageing 767. Passengers arriving for their flight yesterday morning were therefore somewhat surprised to find themselves boarding the airline’s brand new A380.
Less than 150 passengers were onboard the flight, somewhat short of the aircraft’s 469 seating capacity, and only the downstairs section of the aircraft was utilised.
In keeping with other airlines, British Airways has opted to use the new A380 on a series of short-haul flights so at to familiarise crew with the new aircraft. These ‘test’ flights will continue throughout August and into September before the first scheduled flights commence to Los Angeles on 24th September. Following on from Los Angeles, British Airways will commence A380 services to Hong Kong in October and Johannesburg in early 2014. In total the airline has placed orders for 12 A380s.
British Airways chose Frankfurt for the test flight partly because the airport is already well used to receiving the A380 but also, one imagines, as a way of promoting itself in a key market.