First commercial A380 flight at Heathrow

Singapore Airlines made its first revenue flight to London's Heathrow Airport on March 18.

History was made on March 18 with the arrival of the first commercial flight of the world’s largest passenger aircraft, the A380, into London’s Heathrow Airport. Singapore Airlines’ flight SQ308 landed at 2:50 pm local time with a full load of 471 passengers plus crew. Singapore Airlines has been operating regularly-scheduled service to Sydney using two A380s, and added the U.K. route after recently receiving its third aircraft from Airbus.

The first A380 commercial service to Europe follows the delivery of the third A380 to Singapore Airlines on March 11. Fitted with luxurious suites, award-winning four-abreast business class and a new, more spacious economy class, the A380 allows the airline’s customers to travel to London in unprecedented comfort and space.

Passengers traveling on Singapore Airlines from London to Singapore and on to Sydney will now be able to fly the whole route aboard A380 aircraft.

Marvin Tan, Singapore Airlines general manager for the U.K. and Ireland, said the partnership between SIA and Airbus was making a significant impact on aviation history with the inaugural flight from Singapore to London. “This flight is trailblazing a new era in passenger comfort between Singapore and Europe and the A380 is an aircraft of which both of our companies can be proud. Entry into service has been fantastic and that’s down to our close partnership with Airbus,” Tan explained.

Mike Forster, group strategy director for BAA, which operates Heathrow, said the inaugural flight marked a great day for Heathrow, Singapore Airlines and aviation. BAA had invested £450million in readiness for this first flight into Europe’s busiest airport. “The A380 is an important aircraft as it allows us to increase capacity without increasing the number of flights,” he commented. “Heathrow airlines have placed orders for 168 A380s. This means 10 per cent of our passengers will be flying on A380s, allowing us to increase capacity without increasing the number of flights.”

The U.K.’s Minister of State for Business, Pat McFadden, added: “This flight represents a significant milestone. The Airbus A380 is a remarkable aircraft – quieter, cleaner, smarter and greener than existing commercial planes. I wish the aircraft, the airport and the airline – all renowned for their world-leading capabilities – a long and successful future working together.”

Singapore Airlines is the first to fly the A380 and has firm orders for a further 16 aircraft and options on six more.