The world’s largest passenger airliner, the Airbus A380, officially began passenger service at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) Monday, October 20th.
The first commercial Qantas Airways A380 flight to serve Los Angeles arrived at LAX from Melbourne, Australia Monday morning, October 20th.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was joined by actors John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, City Councilmembers Bill Rosendahl and Janice Hahn, Qantas Airways chief executive officer Geoff Dixon, Los Angeles World Airports general manager Gina Marie Lindsey, and airport commissioners to observe the start of A380 commercial passenger service from LAX.
The officials marked the beginning of service during a ceremony at the Flight Path Learning Center Museum at LAX.
The aircraft can accommodate more than 800 passengers in an all economy-class setup or up to 555 passengers with first-class and business-class seating, airport officials said. The airplane has a wingspan of more than 261 feet and can hold up to 82,000 gallons of fuel.
Villaraigosa said the A380 service will be an “engine of economic growth” in Los Angeles for years to come. One daily international roundtrip of the wide-body aircraft to LAX is expected to generate $623 million in economic activity annually, more than 3,000 local jobs and $156 million in wages, city officials said.
Qantas officials said the airline plans to operate five A380 flights per week between Australia and Los Angeles.
LAX is expected to serve 12 daily A380 flights by 2012, more than any other airport in North America, airport officials said.
After arriving at LAX early October 20th for the first commercial service at the airport, the Qantas Airways A380 was scheduled to depart for Melbourne at 11:30 p.m.