Hong Kong

Faster Flying

New fleet: where next?

Hong Kong leads the second wave of new flight launches.

British Airways’ second A380 route, to Hong Kong, started in style with CEO Keith Williams on board the inaugural flight and a range of celebratory events held in the city for business leaders, travel partners and media. 

The airline’s two A380s have now completed more than 800 hours flying on training exercises, temporary operation to Frankfurt and full long-haul services to Los Angeles and Hong Kong. The third super-jumbo has just been delivered to Heathrow from Airbus HQ in Toulouse, and has started commercial flying already. The next A380 route, Johannesburg, will launch in February, and the aircraft’s LA operation becomes two a day in April. Over next year as a whole, five more A380s will join the British Airways fleet.

The third super-jumbo has just been delivered to Heathrow from Airbus HQ in Toulouse, and has started commercial flying already. The next A380 route, Johannesburg, will launch in February. Five more A380s will join the British Airways fleet in 2014.

Travel writers have been impressed with the aircraft’s debut between Los Angeles and London. Tom Otley of Business Traveller said: “The crew were friendly, young, organised, and seemed completely unfazed about being on the A380, though keen to know what I thought of it. Service in both Club World and First was very good, and this giant aircraft offers a smooth ride. Highly recommended.” Popular US website Jaunted concluded that “in every aspect the A380 is an improved flying experience, no matter which cabin you are in”.

Andrew McManus, an early customer, said: “It's a wonderful flying experience, quiet and smooth. The way they have split up the cabins makes them more intimate, and the décor is fresh and contemporary.”

Meanwhile, the first British Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliners have also entered active service on flights to New York Newark and Toronto.

Four Dreamliners are now operating, having amassed nearly 1,200 hours of flying between them since the first arrival in June.

Four more will arrive next year when new 787 destinations will include the brand new daily route to Austin, Texas, which opens in March, and Chengdu.

Paul Morgan, the airline manager in charge of the new aircraft's entry-into-service, said: “Customer feedback continues to be very positive and we are already planning for 2014 as more new aircraft arrive.”

Cabin crew member James Scarle worked on the first A380 flight to Frankfurt. He said: “The smaller cabins are easier to deal with and they make it easier to connect with customers. The galleys are better placed and better equipped. And I think the cabin design represents BA very well. It’s clearcut and consistent”.