http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bszcN2SwgTIThis week, for the first time ever, an A380 will be used on a domestic route. China Southern received their first 380 on October 14 from Airbus in France (see handover video above- Note the slight error in translation of the CEO’s speech when the plane is referred to as “A-three-eight-zero“). The plane touched down in Beijing October 15. China Southern’s became the seventh airline to fly the A380 joining Air France, Emirates, Korea, Lufthansa, Qantas and Singapore. number seven and their A380 is the 58th in scheduled service. They have ordered five A380s.
The handover video gives you a great sense of the China Southern’s A380 internal colours and set up (see 2 min 11 secs). I was amused by the arm movements by one of the executives at 2mins 26 seconds as he measures out the pitch between seats in what looks like the economy cabin. Was he saying “is the leg room really that small?”
The plane will be used firstly on a daily round trip Beijing to Guangzhou service from October 18 to 26. Then from October 27 to 29, it will ply the Beijing to Shanghai route. Eighty per cent of the 428 Economy seats plus all of the eight luxury first-class suites and 70 Business class seats have been sold for those first flights. I was hoping to get there but I need to be at work in Australia!
The mystery is where China Southern are going to fly them internationally. There has been much speculation. The contenders are:
- Guangzhou to Paris (currently A330)
- Guangzhou to London
- Guangzhou to Sydney- which is a twice daily service currently
- Guangzhou to Melbourne- which just become a twice daily A330 service
- some have said the new Guangzhou to Vancouver could be upgraded-its only thrice weekly currently
- Guangzhou to Los Angeles
- Guangzhou – San Francisco
- Guangzhou – Dallas
- Guangzhou-Washington DC
When they announce, then I can book!