Qantas and Airbus have marked the first flight of the carrier's four-class A380 at the airframer's facility in Hamburg, Germany.
The aircraft --VH-OQA (MSN014) -- conducted the operations with its cabin and systems subject to flight conditions. Qantas receives the first of 20 A380s on order with Airbus on 19 September during a delivery ceremony in Toulouse, France. Three aircraft are scheduled for delivery to the carrier by the end of 2008.
After Qantas conducts the first revenue flight on 20 October from Melbourne to Los Angeles the carrier will become the third airline to operate the A380 after Singapore Airlines started operations in October. Emirates flew its inaugural flight on 31 July.
Other routes earmarked for A380 service by Qantas include Sydney-Los Angeles and flights from Sydney to Singapore and London.
Qantas plans to operate its A380 in a 450-seat layout with 346 in the main deck comprising 14 first class suites and three economy cabins accommodating 332 passengers. The 104-seat configuration of the upper deck features 72 business class seats in three cabins and 32 premium economy at the rear of the aircraft.
Source: Flight International