A380 delivered to Qantas

The plane is one of 20 A380s ordered by Qantas.

Australian airline Qantas received the first of 20 Airbus A380s on order, during a Sept. 19 ceremony in Toulouse, France. The Rolls-Royce powered aircraft was handed over to Qantas CEO Geoff Dixon and Qantas CEO-designate Alan Joyce by Tom Enders, Airbus president and CEO, and John Leahy, Airbus chief operating officer - customers.

Qantas’ Dixon says, “When we ordered our A380 in 2000, we said that in addition to giving us the opportunity to reinvent our product, this revolutionary new aircraft offered capacity and operating savings, as well as environmental improvements. Everything we have seen since our initial order has reinforced this view.” Typically the A380 seats 525 passengers in three classes, but Qantas’ cabin is more spacious, with 450 seats in four classes (14 First, 72 Business, 32 Premium Economy and 332 Economy). The four Rolls Royce Trent 900 engines will each deliver up to 72,000 lb of thrust, contributing to the aircraft’s overall fuel efficiency of less than three liters (0.79 gal) of fuel per passenger per 100 km (62 miles).

Qantas was the first customer to sign a contract for the A380. In November 2000, the airline ordered 12 A380s, marking the first time in the airline’s long history it had ordered Airbus aircraft. Qantas later increased its order for A380s to the current count, and is now the second largest customer for the world’s largest passenger aircraft.
Qantas’ first commercial A380 services were launched on October 20 bewteen Melbourne and Los Angeles, and, on Oct. 24, between Sydney and Los Angeles. Later Qantas also will fly the A380 on routes to Singapore and London.