Qantas puts world's largest plane on longest route

By David Koenig, Associated Press | Posted - Sep. 29, 2014 at 6:30 p.m.


2 photos

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Qantas is putting the world's biggest passenger plane on the world's longest airline route.

A Qantas Airbus A380 touched down Monday at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport about 15 hours after leaving Sydney, Australia, on the 8,578-mile journey.

The double-deck, four-engine jet was greeted with a water-cannon salute, then taxied to a two-story gate that was configured just for the behemoth.

The inaugural flight carried a full load of 484 passengers, according to a Qantas spokesman.

DFW is a large airport with connecting flights throughout the U.S. and Latin America, making it ideal for the plane and the route. But the A380's size also limits its appeal. Smaller planes such as Boeing's latest, the 787, are more economical on many routes.

Qantas previously flew the Sydney-Dallas route with the Boeing 747, which required a stopover in Brisbane, Australia.

"The 747 served us really well, but it doesn't have the range of the A380," said Qantas Senior Executive Vice President Vanessa Hudson. "The A380 is much bigger, so we can actually now provide 10 percent additional capacity."

For travelers wishing to fly the new route, it won't be cheap. Hudson said tickets are roughly $1,900 in economy; double that for the roomier seats in premium economy; $7,000 for business class; and $12,000 to $13,000 for first class, where the airline tosses in a set of pajamas and a sheepskin mattress.

The special A380 gate at DFW will be used again on Wednesday, when Gulf airline Emirates begins flying the huge plane between Dallas and Dubai.

___

Contact David Koenig at http://www.twitter.com/airlinewriter

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Photos

David Koenig

    SIGN UP FOR THE KSL.COM NEWSLETTER

    Catch up on the top news and features from KSL.com, sent weekly.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast