BA's first A380 headed to Hong Kong before New York?

By David Flynn, October 11 2012
BA's first A380 headed to Hong Kong before New York?

British Airways is hinting that Hong Kong will be the debut route for its Airbus A380, with first flights around the middle of next year.

BA has a dozen superjumbos on order, with the first due to arrive in July followed by three more before the year is out.

The British flag-carrier has shortlisted Hong Kong, Singapore, New York and Beijing as the A380s first destinations.

BA chairman Sir Martin Broughton is now tipping Hong Kong will take the honour, giving Australian travellers an appealing option when making their Kangaroo Route hop via Hong Kong with the help of a Qantas connecting flight.

(If you choose the right day of the week you can do the Red Roo's A380 on QF127/128 and then double up on the double decker with BA.)

"It's not confirmed but my guess is it would be Hong Kong, although Madrid will probably be the test flight" Broughton reportedly told Business Traveller.

"People keep saying New York, but remember we have the schedules there, so the bigger the aircraft, you reduce the schedule."

As Australian Business Traveller revealed last week, British Airways won't be fitting an all-new Club World business class seat to the A380, opting instead for what a spokesperson described as "an evolution of the current seat".

We spotted and snapped BA's first A380 on the line during a recent visit to the Airbus factory in Toulouse, however the airline is yet to reveal the seating plan for its new flagship.

Work in progress: BA's first A380 puts her face on at the Airbus factory in Toulouse. AusBT
Work in progress: BA's first A380 puts her face on at the Airbus factory in Toulouse

It will of course  encompass all four classes, from World Traveller economy and World Traveller Plus premium economy through to Club World business class and of course BA's lush First cabin.

The layout is tipped to place first class, business and economy on the lower deck, with secondary business and economy cabins plus a compact premium economy section upstairs.

We're Australia's leading website for business travellers and frequent flyers – we're @AusBT.


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

20 Feb 2012

Total posts 125

So Hong Kong has basically become the A380 HUB.

Yet the dominant local carrier Cathay Pacific has no A380!

Considering the fact that Cathay is replacing all 367 seat 747 on the London route (4X daily) with 275 seat 777 its a huge fall in capacity for them.

Whereas BA is expanding with bigger Aircraft.

Seems Cathay wants to voluntarily lose market share on that route.

All though Cathay new business class w=may change the situation

07 Aug 2012

Total posts 193

CX's reduction seems to be mainly in the Y cabin. I can't see the 275 seat config on Seat Guru, but of the 4 seat maps for the 77W they all seems to have at least the same amount or more premium class seats than the 744.

Maybe they are sacrificing market share to ditch some low yield traffic?

20 Feb 2012

Total posts 125

Yes, there is only more business class/premium economy class seats.

First class falls and Economy class falls drastically

Maybe they never even fill economy class, or they are planning a fifth daily flight- THIS IS POSSIBLE if they do a deal with British Airways which controls most of the slots.


15 Apr 2011

Total posts 580

I'd just like to see them try to squeeze that beast into one of their gates at JFK. The wingspan would probably render three gates unuseable in what is already an extremely cramped terminal at peak times.

HKG makes perfect sense, perhaps somewhere like LAX or SFO next.

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