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Qantas Inaugural A380 Service

History Made with Qantas Ambassador and Captain John Travolta

The Qantas A380 aircraft lands at LAX airport after its inaugural flight to Los Angeles
Qantas' A380 inaugural flight to Los Angeles arrives

On October 20, 2008, Qantas became the first commercial airline to offer A380 service between the west coast of the United States and Australia when its inaugural flight landed at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The flight from Melbourne was greeted by Qantas Ambassador-at-Large and captain, John Travolta, Australian entertainer Olivia Newton-John and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

The Qantas A380 is configured with 450 seats in four cabins and is being touted as an environmentally friendly airplane, as well as being fuel efficient and offering reduced noise to neighborhoods around the airport. Mayor Villaraigosa says that LAX spent $1 billion on upgrades to the airport to accommodate the A380 flights, which is the largest aircraft ever to fly commercially.

Alain Gayot with reunited “Grease” co-stars Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta, in the cabin of the Qantas A380 aircraft
Alain Gayot and Qantas A380 Captain Peter Probert
Olivia, Alain and John
Captain Peter Probert

Tickets are reportedly starting at $1,000 for economy and up to $27,000 for a first class round-trip ticket — which features 14 single private suites complete with menus from acclaimed-chef Neil Perry (of Rockpool fame), a 17-inch LCD wide screen video monitor, and a seat that swivels into a comfortable armchair and a flat, extra long and wide bed. In economy class, the plane offers adjustable Recaro seats, four self-service bars, and a state-of -the-art in-flight entertainment system.

Due to its size, the plane is roomier inside, which offers more comfort for passengers than traditional commercial aircraft. During a VIP flight from LAX over San Francisco we experienced smooth and extremely quiet conditions, which will be especially welcome during the more than 14-hour flight to Australia.

A view of the Golden Gate Bridge from a wing-side window in Qantas’ “Spirit of Australia”
Wing over the Golden Gate Bridge in the Spirit of Australia

Qantas officials say there will be daily service to Australia by the end of 2009, when the eighth A380 joins their fleet.

For more information, visit

(Updated: 10/03/13 BH)

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