“Stretching its legs” – the A380 now serves the world’s longest airline route
The growing network of A380 flights now includes the world’s longest airline route: Qantas’ Sydney-Dallas/Fort Worth service, which covers a 13,804-km. distance and connects the most populous city in Australia with the busy gateway airport facility in the U.S. state of Texas. It is one of more than 200 weekly A380 services to eight U.S. destinations.
Qantas began operating its A380 non-stop roundtrips this week, with the aircraft configured in a three-class cabin layout accommodating 14 first class seats, 64 in business, 35 in premium economy and 371 in economy.
The new service underscores how A380 airline operators are taking advantage of their highly-efficient “world traveler” in connecting key city destinations while also benefitting from the aircraft’s high levels of passenger comfort and excellent efficiency – even when compared to the competing large passenger jetliners.
By utilizing the A380’s range capabilities in replacing Qantas’ 747s between Sydney and Dallas/Fort Worth, the airline is now able to serve this route non-stop in both directions – while the 747 required a stopover in Brisbane on the return flight because of headwinds.
“With the A380’s unmatched cabin comfort, Qantas now offers all its passengers a best-in-class experience on this ultra-long range route,” explained Thomas Burger, the A380 Product Marketing Director at Airbus. “This includes its luxurious first class cabin, which was not offered on its 747s previously serving the route. Economy passengers enjoy seats with widths of more than 18 inches, which is Airbus’ benchmark standard and a key differentiator of our cabins.”
Qantas’ non-stop Sydney-Dallas/Fort Worth service covers more distance than the previous longest-range A380 route: the Dubai-Los Angeles flight performed by Emirates, which has a trip length of 13,420 km.
Burger, who was aboard Qantas’ inaugural flight to Dallas/Fort Worth on 29 September, said this U.S. airport is one of 10 new destinations being added by A380 airlines in 2014 – the largest yearly increase since the double-deck airliner entered service in 2007. By this December, the jetliner will be utilized on scheduled service to a total of 41 airports worldwide.
“From the longest route in the world to intra-Asia hops, one look at the A380 route map today highlights the operational flexibility of this aircraft,” he added.
Airbus has delivered 140-plus A380s to 12 airline customers, with the aircraft having carried a combined total of more than 65 million passengers. Logging average daily utilization rates of more than 13 hours, an A380 takes off or lands somewhere in the world every four minutes.