Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Qantas begins A380 flights to London

Australians have more options for flying the world's largest airliner, the Airbus A380, to Europe after Qantas began flying the aircraft on the `kangaroo route' to London last week.

Executive General Manager, Mr John Borghetti, said the airline would initially operate three A380 superjumbo services each week on the Kangaroo Route.

"Following the delivery of a third aircraft at the end of December, we are now ready to introduce the Qantas A380 to the Singapore and UK markets," he said.

QF31 will operate from Sydney to London via Singapore on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, with the return QF32 operating on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, also via Singapore.

Meanwhile, Singapore Airlines announced it will begin flights of the A380to Paris beginning from June 1.

The daily Singapore-Paris flights will be in addition to SIA's A380 service to London, Tokyo and Sydney.

Singapore Airlines and travel agents said last week that the carrier is cutting more than 200 flights to Europe, Australia, China, and India in response to falling passenger numbers during a global economic slowdown.

The airline said December passenger numbers were down 7.5 per cent year-on-year.

But on Monday it said the A380 Paris service is a response to "growing demand".

The double-decker aircraft will replace the existing 10-times-a-week service by Boeing 777-300ER planes, SIA said.

Superjumbos can carry up to 853 passengers but SIA uses a setup with a maximum of 471 seats. Qantas A380s have 450 seats.

SIA was the first airline in the world to operate the A380.