BA welcomes superjumbo jet

British Airways will today become the first UK airline to take delivery of an Airbus A380 superjumbo - the world's largest passenger plane.

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BA superjumbo 'best of British in aviation'

The Business and Energy Minister has hailed a UK airline after it was the first to take deliver of a superjumbo today.

The massive British Airways superjumbo flew into Heathrow airport. Michael Fallon said:

I was impressed by the British Airways A380 when I saw it for myself at the Paris Air show last month. I am proud that around 40% of this iconic aircraft is made in the UK by a range of aerospace manufacturers of all sizes - from our large global companies through to small enterprises.

With its Rolls-Royce Trent engines and state-of-the-art wings, the A380 slashes travel emissions while boosting efficiency.

Coupled with British Airways, a world-leading airline, the A380 really is a great example of the best of British in aviation.

'Major environmental advances' with BA superjumbo

The delivery of the new superjumbo jet opens a "new chapter in British Airways' history", the airline's chief executive Keith Williams said today, as the Airbus A380 is due to land in Heathrow.

The first British Airways Airbus A380. Credit: Hartmut Reeh/DPA/Press Association Images

Mr Williams said: "We are proud to be leading the way in Europe in operating both these aircraft types.

"Over the next 12 months, we will take delivery of new long-haul aircraft at an average rate of one every two weeks."

"These deliveries form the centrepiece of the £5 billion investment BA is making in new aircraft, smarter cabins, superb lounges and new technologies to make travel more comfortable in the air and on the ground.

"Both aircraft types make major environmental advances and will contribute toward our ambitious targets for noise and carbon reduction."

What is the difference in superjumbo and other jets?

The world's largest passenger plane is due to touch down at Heathrow today. British Airways will today become the first UK airline to take delivery of an Airbus A380 superjumbo.

Here are the main characteristics of the jet:

  • The plane is 238ft-long.
  • It takes 469 passengers, slightly fewer than some of the other superjumbo-operating airlines.
  • The aircraft is 79ft high.
  • The wings are 54% larger than those of the Boeing 747 jumbo jet.
  • The A380 also has 50% more floor space than the Boeing 747.
  • It is 50% quieter on take-off than the 747.
  • The A380 can reach a speed of 587mph and has a range of 9,500 miles.
  • All the wiring in the A380 is laid end to end it will stretch from Edinburgh to London.

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British Airways welcomes superjumbo jet to fleet

British Airways will today become the first UK airline to take delivery of an Airbus A380 superjumbo - the world's largest passenger plane.

The first British Airways Airbus A380. Credit: Hartmut Reeh/DPA/Press Association Images

BA's first A380 is due to touch down at Heathrow, with the airline's chief executive Keith Williams on board.

The BA double-decker superjumbo will be shown off at the carrier's engineering base at Hatton Cross alongside another recently-delivered aircraft, a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

This will be the first of 12 superjumbos ordered by BA, with passenger services due to start this autumn.

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