A380

11 seat rows in economy…deep joy

We knew it…, all the hype about the A380 being spacious, luxurious, a new standard of travel etc, gives way to reality, with a new configuration that squeezes even more people into economy.

Just when you thought economy couldn’t get any more cramped Airbus has come up with a development, by jamming an 11th seat into economy-class rows of the A380, the world’s largest passenger jet, giving a 3-5-3 seat configuration. Bags not me in the middle of that 5 seat row!

Flightglobal an aviation website, and reported elsewhere, a mock-up of this new 11-abreast seat configuration will be shown at an aircraft interiors trade show in April. The website reports that an aircraft leasing company is eager to get it into the hands of airlines worldwide.

But the configuration will not be popular with long-haul economy travellers, who will remember that the A380 was touted by Airbus with descriptions like “though actual configurations vary – was expected to usher in a new era of airborne luxury, the likes of which hadn’t been seen since the mid-twentieth century’s so-called “golden age” of air travel.” I wonder how long it is until we see the first totally economy A380 with around 800 passengers?

It was always going to happen, but hopefully not on BA.

Read more about this story here.

British Airways is has launched its Man vs Plane challenge No.II, which offers five people the chance to prove they have what it takes to beat its new A380 superjumbo in a race on the runway.

The Man vs Plane challenge is to celebrate the launch of BA’s direct flights to Johannesburg and the winners will be flown to South Africa in February to try to beat the A380 in a 200 metre sprint. Now I recall from athletics at school that 200 metres is a pretty long sprint. The A380 lost round one in 2013 to South African rugby player Bryan Habana.

To enter the competition, entrants must explain to British Airways in 50 words or less why they should be picked. The runner with the quickest time on the day will receive two return tickets on one of British Airways’ direct A380 flights to London, Los Angeles, Hong Kong or Johannesburg while revelling in their sprinting success. Mr. Habana explains…

Habana said in the promotional video “In 2013, I raced British Airways’ new A380 aircraft and won. Now, it’s your turn to accept the challenge and prove you have the strength, stamina and speed to race the plane.” The closing date for entries is 20 January and the winners will be flown to Johannesburg on 4 February.

To enter go to  ba.com/manvsplane. If anyone knows how long it takes an A380 to cover the first 200 metres let us know!

Emirates Orders Additional 50 Airbus A380s to Expand Fleet

Emirates said it will purchase an additional 50 Airbus SAS A380 superjumbos, which is the biggest single deal so far for the largest commercial jetliner.

The order which is valued at about $20 billion at the list price (but we don’t know the actual purchase price) was signed today as the Dubai Air Show. Emirates, which is the world’s largest international airline, said that the aircraft will serve both to replace existing fleet and to grow the airline.

Emirates a380

50 more of these please

Emirates Airlines is currently the biggest customer for the A380 having taken delivery of 38 already and with with orders for 90 A380.

The deal is a record for the A380, and comes as a boost to Airbus, which had been considering reducing A380 output, and instead finishes the year strongly.

Supermodel Georgia May Jagger, fashion designer Alice Temperley MBE, and singer Leona Lewis came together last night (24 October), to fly the flag for Britain, at the ‘Gig on a Wing’ event to celebrate British Airways’ new A380 superjumbo operating to Hong Kong.

Intended to showcase the best of British music, fashion, design and cuisine to an audience of local leaders in travel and entertainment, the event took place inside a hangar at Hong Kong International airport, with the A380 forming the centrepiece of the show.

Georgia May Jagger, daughter of Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger took to the stage with British Airways Chief Executive Keith Williams to close the evening, and said: “I’m so happy British Airways invited me to Hong Kong on their first A380 flight. The service, food and flat beds on the long haul flights are second to none and I always arrive feeling well rested. I love Hong Kong too and look forward to returning and spending more time in this great city”.

A380 gig on a wing bus

Gettin’ off the bus

British Airways’ ‘Gig on a Wing’ event launched with a fashion show by British designer Alice Temperley MBE. Fresh from showing at last month’s London Fashion Week, Alice showed guests to her Spring/ Summer 2014 collection from the award winning Temperley London collection. Models descended the steps of the A380 aircraft onto British Airways’ specially created ‘runway’ catwalk. Temperley, who has designed dresses for stars including Keira Knightly, Rihanna, Beyonce and The Duchess of Cambridge, said: “I was thrilled to be asked by British Airways to showcase my new Spring/Summer 2014 collection in Hong Kong and at such a unique and glamorous event. The people here really appreciate cutting edge design, fine tailoring and effortless style, very similar to that of British Airways new A380.”

This was followed by a live performance from former X-Factor winner Leona Lewis. Lewis performed tracks on a specially created stage, flush with the A380’s 261-foot twin-engine wingspan. Leona’s set included a cover of Lenny Kravitz’s “Fly Away”, her number one selling track “Bleeding Love” and “Come Alive”.

 

Speaking after her performance, Leona said: “Performing on the wing of the British Airways A380 was an incredible experience and one I will never forget. After singing on top of a double-decker bus at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, I thought that would be a hard act to follow, but tonight’s ‘Gig on a Wing’ event was very special and unique”.

The gig on a wing A380 in the spotlight

The gig on a wing.

It was a truly swish event with the Langham Hong Kong providing guests with a very British affair, treating them to treats that included mini pork pies, Sunday roast and fish and chips canapés, followed by a true taste of home with an afternoon tea boasting a chocolate London bus, a marshmallow Big Ben and an Alice Temperley inspired vanilla shortbread.

This was complemented by Flower Duet cocktails. Luxury five star hotel, The Langham Hong Kong, is located in the heart of Kowloon.

IAG boss Willie Walsh was annoyed to learn that the new aviation minister had declared to the leaders of the aviation industry that the transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, was in Hong Kong launching British Airways’ new A380 superjumbo service. Mr. Walsh pointed out that not only was McLoughlin not on board the plane, he had not been not invited, and was not going to be allowed to take the credit.

A a conference on Tuesday Mr. Walsh stated: “The government has not done anything to launch our new services to China.”

 

British Airways A380 in air possibly  to China

The A380 in flight

In fact, he said, its policies on air passenger duty and Chinese visas were harming British aviation and business.

“It’s not happening. I’m not going to sit here and let the government take credit for something we are doing on our own without their support.”

This was in response to Mr. Goodwill announcing at the opening the Airport Operators Association conference in London which is the air industry’s major annual event that – “The secretary of state, Patrick McLoughlin, cannot be with us here today because he’s in China, promoting our interests.” “He will shortly be launching British Airways new A380 service from Hong Kong – and is coming back to the UK on that maiden flight.”