A380 First Touchdown In The US Part Of Commercial Route
Two A380s are flying into two US destinations, today, 19th
March, allowing both the East and West Coasts of North America to
simultaneously welcome the world's largest commercial airliner,
which Airbus claims to be "the most technically advanced and
environmentally friendly civil aircraft in the skies."
A380 development aircraft MSN7 will fly some 500 passengers to
John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), New York, as part of
the Commercial Route Proving jointly performed with Deutsche
Lufthansa over a 12 day period. Simultaneously, A380 test aircraft
MSN1 will land at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) as part
of an airport compatibility trial, which will be performed on the
spot with the assistance of Qantas Airways.
As part of the Commercial Route Proving operated out of the
Lufthansa base in Frankfurt, MSN7, which is fitted with a full
cabin interior, will then fly from New York to Chicago O'Hare and
back to JFK on 20th March, before returning to Frankfurt on 21st
March. The aircraft will then go to Hong Kong (24th March), and
return to the US for a visit to Washington on 25th March, and
return. On its way back from Frankfurt to Toulouse, it will make a
stopover in Munich on 28th March. The objective of the Commercial
Route Proving exercise, always jointly performed with an airline -
in this instance Lufthansa - is to fine-tune the aircraft's
interior systems under realistic operational conditions on a number
of scheduled flights, in preparation of its entry into service
later this year.
During the Route Proving exercise, the A380 will be flown by
Airbus test pilots, and experienced and trained Lufthansa pilots.
With around 500 guests on board on each of the long distance
flights, in-flight service will be provided by a full Lufthansa
A380 MSN1 is flying to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
for airport compatibility tests. The tests in LAX will be done in
cooperation with LAX airport authorities as well as Qantas Airways.
These tests include airfield manoeuvring, docking at the terminal
gate and ground handling services and equipment, including fueling.
LAX is the first US destination to which the A380 is scheduled to
be flown when in service with Qantas, and is the world’s
fifth busiest passenger airport. Since the first airport tests with
the A380 in Frankfurt in 2005, the A380 has visited over 40
airports, and by 2011 more than 70 airports around the world will
be ready for A380 operations.
"After having brought the A380 to many airports in Europe, the
Middle East, Asia, Australia and also Africa, we are proud that, on
the occasion of the Commercial Route Proving, we are now able to
present the A380 to the American people", said Executive Vice
President and Head of the A380 Programme, Mario Heinen. "Both JFK
and LAX, as well as Chicago O'Hare International and Washington
Dulles International Airport are key future destinations for the
A380. Following this, they can confirm their readiness to receive
the aircraft when customers will begin flying it there very
"Also, the quietness and limited environmental impact of the
aircraft will surely positively surprise the local communities as
it did elsewhere, while its economic benefits, including the
reduced fuel burn of less than three litres per passenger per 100
kilometres, have already convinced our customers. My thanks also go
to Lufthansa for their cooperation in the Route Proving and
previous joint exercises, and to Qantas for the LAX compatibility
trial, as well as to the respective airports", he added.
First delivery to first operator Singapore Airlines is scheduled
for October 2007. The Aircraft received joint European Aviation
Safety Agency (EASA) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Type
Certification in December 2006. Firm orders and commitments stand
at 166 aircraft for 15 customers.