BA launches superjumbo A380 on Singapore-London route

BA launches superjumbo A380 on Singapore-London route

SINGAPORE - British Airways (BA) has added Singapore into its network of A380 service routes from London, marking the South-east Asian nation's status as a global business hub.

For over 80 years, BA has been connecting the two global cities with its worldwide network.

With the introduction of the A380 aircraft, BA will increase more seats and facilities for their customers.

Mr Robert Williams, BA regional general manager, said the addition of Singapore into its A380 service route is another milestone in the company's history.

At a press conference held at Marina Bay Sands on Oct 29, Mr Williams affirmed Singapore's status as an important business hub connecting the world to cities in Australasia.

BA currently has taken delivery of eight A380s; the remaining four planes will arrive by 2016.

Their A380 $5 billion pound (S$10.2 billion) investment connects London and select destinations such as Los Angeles, Johannesburg and Hong Kong.

The launch of the new flight route between Singapore and London was also marked with an advertisement featuring Hollywood actress, Gwyneth Paltrow.

Dubbed the superjumbo, the double-deck A380 has been described by airlines using the planes as ultra-efficient, spacious and eco-friendly.

The Airbus-made aircraft is also the world's largest commercial plane, according to its maker, and provides 50 per cent more floor space than other models.

It can carry over 500 passengers, depending on its configuration, said the French aerospace manufacturer.

BA's A380 planes each carry 469 passengers, including 14 in its First Class cabins.

Their most luxurious cabins are 30 per cent larger than the other planes in its fleet, and comes with a mini wardrobe big enough to store belongings and even a wheelie luggage.

The A380 planes are also equipped with steam-ovens to heat up meals and have wheelchair accessible bathrooms on both decks.

Other than BA, airline carriers such as Air France, Emirates, Qatar Airways and Qantas also offers flights from Singapore to destinations around the world with A380s.

Singapore Airlines made aviation history by being the first commercial carrier to fly the superjumbo aircraft. It flew from Singapore to Sydney in Oct 2007.

Emirates says they have the largest fleet of A380 planes and serves over 30 flight routes.

With a larger amount of space available, airlines have upped the definition of luxury by crafting out luxurious suites onboard.

The First Class Private Suites on Emirates' upper deck features a personalised mini-bar, work desk and wardrobe. Passengers can also get refreshed and take a shower in its luxurious bathrooms.

Both Emirates and Air France's A380s have a bar where passengers can mingle and relax while enjoying a buffet spread.

Air France has also put together the first-ever art gallery ever built into an aircraft.

The French carrier said it partnered with world famous museums to create a gallery featuring exhibits designed specially for its Business Class passengers.

Mr Jamie Cassidy, British Airways area general manager, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, said BA takes into consideration what passengers want and avoids being "gimmicky".

BA seeks to understand what their customers want and how much they are willing to pay for the facilities, he added.

Throughout its history, BA has been revolutionary in its offerings, said Mr Cassidy as he highlighted how it was the first airline is providing flat beds and offer four cabin class sections.

BA is celebrating the launch of their new A380 route between Singapore and London with a flight sale.

From now till Nov 14, 2014, travellers can purchase a World Traveller economy seat at $1,380 and World Traveller Plus premium economy seat at $2,380.

The ticket prices include tax and surcharges; and the travel period is between Oct 29, 2014 and July 31, 2015.

wjeanne@sph.com.sg

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