Bagged the big one, a photo of a Qantas A380 coming in to land at LAX after a flight from Sydney:
It’s the largest passenger aircraft in the world, and Qantas has it configured to carry 450 people on two decks. Note the double row of windows.
I first saw an A380 nearly two years ago, when Airbus flew one of the prototypes to Bradley to show it to Pratt & Whitney employees who worked on the engines. My video from that flight is available here.
The thing about the Airbus A380 that Qantas flies into LAX is that it’s so freaking big, reports the Los Angeles Times, although not in those words, exactly.
Actually, in these words, among others:
Service roads, taxiways and runways must be closed to airfield trucks, cars and other commercial aircraft as the world’s largest passenger plane — with wings almost as long as a football field — arrives, departs and taxis with an official escort of operations vehicles.
It’s not all that disruptive right now because traffic at LAX has dropped a great deal, but
… air traffic controllers and LAX officials caution that as airlines put more A380s into service, they could hamper airport operations and delay other commercial flights if improvements to runways, taxiways and terminals are not made in the next few years.
Oh, go ahead and read the whole story. And check out the great photo of an A380 dwarfing a couple of Alaska Airlines 737s.
The Airbus A380s that are already flying belong to airlines that are trying to outdo each other with luxuries: private cabins, massage seats, even showers. In those configurations, the giant double-deckers seat roughly 500 to 600 passengers.
Now Airbus has announced its first order for A380s configured for a single class — think Southwest Airlines going all Incredible Hulk — from Air Austral, which flies between Paris and the island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean. (Thanks to Ben Mutzabaugh at USA Today’s blog Today in the Sky for wrapping it all up.) In that configuration, they will seat 840 people.
You must check out this photo gallery from The Los Angeles Times comparing the configurations of the A380s now being flown by Qantas, Emirates and Singapore airlines.
Singapore has the fully enclosed first-class cabins. Qantas has massage seats. But Emirates — it has showers.
Reminds me of a line from the movie “Jerry Maguire:” ” First class … It used to be a better meal. Now it’s a better life.” Which was prophetic, considering that movie came out in 1996.
The world’s largest passenger aircraft, fully pimped out in ultraluxury by Emirates airlines, is scheduled to land today in New York.
What are your chances of ever riding in one of these giant Airbus A380s? Not so good, explains The Courant’s Eric Gershon.