BA confirms A380 for SA route

2013-07-24 13:16
Georgia May Jagger relaxes in the British Airways First seat onboard their new A380 aircraft

Georgia May Jagger relaxes in the British Airways First seat onboard their new A380 aircraft

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Cape Town - British Airways is bringing its largest, most modern aircraft, the Airbus A380, to South Africa with tickets going on sale on Wednesday.

The airline aims to start flying the A380 to Johannesburg from 12 February 2014, although the date for the inaugural flight may be earlier.

Initially it will operate three times a week, increasing to six weekly services by March 2014.

These flights will be part of the airline’s normal schedule to South Africa’s commercial capital.

Since British Airways took delivery of its first superjumbo earlier this month 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.

To mark the announcement British Airways is offering discounts of up to 40% from South Africa to London across all cabins.

World Traveller fares start from R8 380, World Traveller Plus from R15 380, Club World from R30 380 and First from R53 380.

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.

New aircraft leading the charge on the ‘Springbok’ route. (supplied)

“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 Gavin Halliday, general manager for Africa and Europe.

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.

Amongst the customers keen to try the new A380 Johannesburg service are South African rugby stars Bryan Habana and Jean de Villiers as well as international model Georgia May Jagger. The three got together in London to celebrate the launch of the new aircraft on the ‘Springbok’ route.

Georgia May Jagger with dashing rugby players Chris Robshaw, Jean de Villiers and Bryan Habana. (Supplied)

Habana, who is taking up a three-year contract with French club side Toulon, says that with the A380 flying to South Africa home won’t seem nearly as far away.
“There are lots of reasons I like flying British Airways and now there’s another one.”

After a tour of the aircraft, Jean de Villiers was particularly impressed by its size: “Seventy-three meters from nose to tail; that’s half the length of Newlands and big enough to carry 31 rugby teams halfway around the world.”

Georgia May Jagger, who visited South Africa for the first time in June last year to front the launch of the airline’s advertising campaign, said: “I’ve been looking for an excuse to visit South Africa again and this provides the perfect opportunity.”

The A380 is part of a £5bn 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.

The launch sale will run from 31 August with travel from 12 February 2014 to 21 June 2014. Fares include all taxes and surcharges but may vary slightly on the day of purchase due to exchange-rate fluctuations.
Read more on:    british airways  |  london  |  cape town  |  johannesburg  |  travel  |  lifestyle  |  flights  |  airplanes  |  good news  |  travel international  |  aviation

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