The A380 was welcomed in style by the United States today as two of the 21st century flagship jetliners touched down within minutes of each other at major hub airports on the country's east and west coasts.
New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport was the site of the first landing, as an A380 carrying approximately 500 persons landed at 12:10 p.m. This aircraft is performing a 12-day route proving trip organised jointly with German carrier Lufthansa, and it arrived on a non-stop flight from Frankfurt, Germany.
Approximately 20 minutes later, another A380 made its debut at Los Angeles International Airport for airport compatibility and functional checks in cooperation with the facility's operator, Los Angeles World Airports, and Australia's Qantas Airways.
At both cities, the A380 arrivals brought out enthusiastic crowds and local VIPs. The A380's flight crew at New York waved an American flag after landing, while Los Angeles International Airport rolled out the red carpet for a welcome led by the city's mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa.
According to calculations of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (which operates John F. Kennedy International Airport), the A380's first full year of service at the facility will generate some $82 million in economic activity, approximately $32 million in payroll and roughly 1,040 full-time jobs.
The Port Authority expects A380 operations to build as airlines introduce the double-deck aircraft into their fleets. By 2015, the A380's operations will create the capacity to carry about 2.5 million passengers per year to and from the regions served by the airport, along with thousands of tons of cargo. The additional capacity provided by large new aircraft such as the A380 will help the Port Authority meet growing demand at its airports, with the added benefit of helping to reduce congestion.
At Los Angeles International Airport, seven Airbus customer airlines already plan A380 service through the facility, which is a major gateway to the Asia/Pacific region, and also serves North and South America as well as Europe. Qantas will be the first carrier to operate the A380 between Los Angeles and Australia.