Air France joined the growing list of A380 airlines by receiving its initial aircraft today, positioning this carrier for a November introduction of the first Europe-North America service with Airbus' 21st century flagship jetliner.
The milestone A380 was provided during a mid-morning ceremony at Airbus' Hamburg, Germany delivery centre, which was followed by the aircraft's afternoon departure with invited guests to Air France's primary hub facility at Paris' Charles de Gaulle International Airport.
It was the 20th A380 delivered by Airbus, joining others that have been placed in global service by Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Qantas.
"I am sure that Air France will have great success with this first new aircraft, which will not remain alone in its fleet for long," said Airbus President and CEO Tom Enders during the delivery event. "We have the next two members of your A380 family just a few meters from here in Hamburg; while there are another two aircraft on our final assembly line in Toulouse."
Air France will inaugurate A380 operations on one of the world's most important long-range trips - the prestigious Paris-New York route - which will link the airline's Charles de Gaulle hub facility with John F. Kennedy International Airport.
"The A380 is exactly adapted for this type of network, as our goal is to further develop routes with high traffic volume," explained Air France Chief Executive Officer Pierre-Henri Gourgeon.