Two A380s will fly into two US destinations on 19th March, allowing both the East and West Coasts of North America to simultaneously welcome the world's largest commercial airliner, which is also the most technically advanced and environmentally friendly civil aircraft in the skies.
A380 development aircraft MSN7 will fly some 500 passengers to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), New York, as part of the Commercial Route Proving jointly performed with Deutsche Lufthansa over a 12 day period. Simultaneously, A380 test aircraft MSN1 will land at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) as part of an airport compatibility trial, which will be performed on the spot with the assistance of Qantas Airways.
As part of the Commercial Route Proving operated out of the Lufthansa base in Frankfurt, MSN7, which is fitted with a full cabin interior, will then fly from New York to Chicago O'Hare and back to JFK on 20th March, before returning to Frankfurt on 21st March. The aircraft will then go to Hong Kong (24th March), and return to the US for a visit to Washington on 25th March, and return. On its way back from Frankfurt to Toulouse, it will make a stopover in Munich on 28th March. The objective of the Commercial Route Proving exercise, always jointly performed with an airline - in this instance Lufthansa - is to fine-tune the aircraft's interior systems under realistic operational conditions on a number of scheduled flights, in preparation of its entry into service later this year.
During the Route Proving exercise, the A380 will be flown by Airbus test pilots, and experienced and trained Lufthansa pilots. With around 500 guests on board on each of the long distance flights, in-flight service will be provided by a full Lufthansa cabin crew.
A380 MSN1 is flying to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) for airport compatibility tests. The tests in LAX will be done in cooperation with LAX airport authorities as well as Qantas Airways. These tests include airfield manoeuvring, docking at the terminal gate and ground handling services and equipment, including fueling. LAX is the first US destination to which the A380 is scheduled to be flown when in service with Qantas, and is the world?s fifth busiest passenger airport. Since the first airport tests with the A380 in Frankfurt in 2005, the A380 has visited over 40 airports, and by 2011 more than 70 airports around the world will be ready for A380 operations.
"After having brought the A380 to many airports in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia and also Africa, we are proud that, on the occasion of the Commercial Route Proving, we are now able to present the A380 to the American people", said Executive Vice President and Head of the A380 Programme, Mario Heinen. "Both JFK and LAX, as well as Chicago O'Hare International and Washington Dulles International Airport are key future destinations for the A380. Following this, they can confirm their readiness to receive the aircraft when customers will begin flying it there very soon."
"Also, the quietness and limited environmental impact of the aircraft will surely positively surprise the local communities as it did elsewhere, while its economic benefits, including the reduced fuel burn of less than three litres per passenger per 100 kilometres, have already convinced our customers. My thanks also go to Lufthansa for their cooperation in the Route Proving and previous joint exercises, and to Qantas for the LAX compatibility trial, as well as to the respective airports", he added.
First delivery to first operator Singapore Airlines is scheduled for October 2007. The Aircraft received joint European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Type Certification in December 2006. Firm orders and commitments stand at 166 aircraft for 15 customers.
Airbus is an EADS company.