BA A380 to fly-by Table Mountain

2014-02-05 09:53

First A380 lands at King Shaka Airport

2014-01-27 13:49

Check out British Airways' big and beautiful A380 swooping down onto the tarmac at King Shaka Airport in Durban. WATCH

Cape Town - A British Airways A380 will do a special fly-past of Table Mountain at around 15:00 today.  

The reason for the flight is the airline starts A380 services to South Africa (London/ Johannesburg) on February 12 and wants a photograph of the aircraft over a South African landmark that will be instantly recognised around the world.    

The air-to- air photoshoot will see the A380 rendezvous with the photographic aircraft over Robben Island at 15:00 and then fly past Table Mountain from Lion’s Head towards Devil’s Peak. This will be the first time that an A380 has flown over the World Heritage site.  

The aircraft will do a minimum of two passes.    

The flight which has been over a month in the planning required obtaining clearance from a variety of role players including the City of Cape Town, SANParks, the Civil Aviation Authority, ATNS and  the South African Air Force amongst others.

British Airways also rehearsed the flight in the UK on the A380 simulator.  

The aircraft has been based at King Shaka International Airport from 27 January for flight crew training.  It will be in Johannesburg on 6 February before returning to London the next day.    

From 12 February scheduled  A380 services will initially operate three times a week from London Heathrow’s Terminal 5 to OR Tambo, increasing to six weekly services by March 2014.    

Since British Airways took delivery of its first superjumbo earlier in July last year Johannesburg is only the third A380 route to be confirmed after Los Angeles and Hong Kong.  Another two aircraft, from a total order of 12, are due to be delivered before the end of the year.    

The airline has a long history of deploying new aircraft on its South African routes.

In May 1952 its predecessor, BOAC, operated the first commercial passenger jet service from London to Johannesburg. The BOAC Comet halved the previous travel time. In the early ‘70s South Africa was also one of the routes on which the airline began operating the now-iconic Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet, then the world’s largest passenger aircraft.  

“We’ve long been clear about the importance of South Africa and our commitment to the market. We’ve expanded our schedules to both Cape Town and Johannesburg, established and developed very successful local partnerships and continually invest in our customers. Introducing the A380 is a further, unambiguous demonstration of our confidence,” said Sue Botes, commercial manager for Southern Africa.  

British Airways’ A380s can accommodate 469 customers across four cabins. Customers in First will be seated in front of the main deck. The cabin offers 14 seats and is evolved from the existing First class. Club World (business class) customers can choose from 44 seats on the main deck, or 53 seats on the upper deck. The upper-deck seats will be arranged in a new 2:3:2 configuration across the cabin. The 55 World Traveller Plus (premier economy) seats are located on the upper deck, while World Traveller (economy) customers can choose seats on both the main and upper deck.    

The aircraft’s innovative design makes it much quieter during take-off and landing and the cabin has the lowest noise level of any existing passenger aircraft. The advanced air conditioning system, with 15 different temperature control zones, contributes to reduced noise levels and customer comfort, with cabin air being changed every three minutes. In addition the A380 It offers exceptional fuel efficiency compared to the aircraft it is replacing.    

The A380 is part of a £5bn (R90bn at R18.17/pound) investment over five years in new aircraft, smarter cabins, elegant lounges, new technologies and onboard catering to improve the travelling experience and make it easier, more convenient and more comfortable in the air and on the ground.   
Read more on:    british airways  |  flights  |  good news  |  air travel  |  travel  |  travel south africa

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