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Qantas collects second A380

18th December 2008 - 18:16 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


Qantas has taken delivery of its second Airbus A380 and plans to put it into service on Melbourne and Sydney to Los Angeles next Monday.

The Australian carrier’s third A380 is due to arrive on December 27 in preparation for launch of services between Sydney and London via Singapore on January 16.

“Our first A380 has been operating up to three services a week between Melbourne, Sydney and Los Angeles since October,” says executive general manager John Borghetti. “This second aircraft will allow us to increase frequency to Los Angeles to as many as six return services a week, with the third supporting three return services a week between Sydney and London Heathrow from next month.”

Qantas is due receive a further four of the big Airbuses next year and to have a total of 20 in service by the end of 2013.

Amenities aboard the aircraft include OnAir connectivity and Panasonic eX2-supported IFE. The carrier has outfitted it with four classes masterminded by eminent Australian industrial designer Marc Newson.

The 450 seats are located in four cabins – 14 in first-class, 72 in business, 32 in premium economy and 332 in economy. The first-class suites each feature a widescreen 17in LCD screen for IFE, a touchscreen passenger control unit, and a B/E Aerospace seat that transforms from comfortable armchair to fully flat bed. The business seat is the latest generation of Qantas’ Skybed, now offering an extra-long and fully flat bed, a larger in-arm screen, extra storage and more privacy.

The premium economy and economy seats are supplied by Recaro (Inflight Online, September 19). The former features a fully adjustable in-arm widescreen IFE screen, the latter a sliding base that moves with the seatback to yield a more comfortable sleeping position.

Qantas’ A380 passengers do not want for opportunities to socialise. The upper-deck business-class cabin has its own private lounge with leather sofas, a self-service bar, and a large video screen. Premium economy also has a bar, while the masses of economy have no fewer than four.

Laptop power and OnAir connectivity are available in all classes, as is an on-demand IFE service offering more than a hundred films, 350 television programmes, 500 audio CDs, 30 PC-style games, and a selection of audio books, language tutorials, destination information, business education and radio channels.

The OnAir services are Webmail and Webchat, available via either the seatback screen or passenger laptops, wired or wireless. Full Internet connectivity is due to be added before the end of next year, following the introduction of Inmarsat SwiftBroadband satellite coverage over the Pacific.

The Shephard News Team


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