Big news for West Coast Anglophiles today: British Airways' first Airbus A380 will fly from Los Angeles to London Heathrow, with tickets going on sale today.
Los Angeles will be the inaugural destination for the first A380 to be operated by a UK airline. The double-decker superjumbo is due to be delivered to British Airways in July and seats are now on sale for flights from Oct. 15, 2013.
In celebration, the airline is launching an offer from Los Angeles. Fares in World Traveller economy start at $830 roundtrip. World Traveller Plus, the airline's premium economy, begins from $1,380 roundtrip, and Club World business class fares begin from $3,800 roundtrip. All fares include taxes, fees and carrier charges.
(A380 enthusiasts eager to be on the very first commercial services should note that dates for these will be announced once plans for training flights are completed.)
The second A380 route will be to Hong Kong, and customers can book flights now for travel from November 15, 2013.
The A380 will be the largest aircraft in the British Airways fleet, accommodating 469 customers across four cabins. Customers in First will be seated at the front of the main deck. The cabin will offer 14 seats and is evolved from the current First class. Club World (business class) customers can choose from 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. The 55 World Traveller Plus (premier economy) seats will be located on the upper deck while World Traveller (economy) customers can choose seats on both the main and upper deck. Both cabins will feature the airline's current design, which is now flying on the new B777-300ER fleet.
The aircraft's innovative design makes it much quieter during take-off and landing and more fuel efficient than its predecessors. British Airways has ordered 12 for delivery by 2016 as part of a GBP 5 billion investment over five years in new aircraft, smarter cabins, elegant lounges, and new technologies to make life more comfortable in the air and on the ground.
The arrival of the A380 has entailed a multi-million pound redevelopment of British Airways' Heathrow engineering base to support maintenance of the world's largest commercial aircraft type. This included two 24-ton roof 'eyebrows' being lifted into place in one of the hangars to raise the height of the entrance to accommodate the A380's 24-meter tailfin.