China Southern Airlines has operated its first Airbus A380 to Australia.
The 502-seat, double-decker aircraft touched down in Sydney this morning, following a direct flight from Guangzhou. The aircraft will now be deployed on the daily morning service to Australia’s largest city, replacing the smaller A330-300 on the route.
The inaugural A380 flight was greeted at Sydney Airport by the traditional water cannon salute.
“We’ve been overhauling our regional operations this year with modern Airbus airliners deployed to every Australian port, and the arrival of the A380 on our Guangzhou to Sydney route marks the culmination of these efforts to become a bigger player on the Australian aviation scene,” said China Southern’s regional general manager for Australia and New Zealand, Henry He.
“Australia remains our most important overseas market and by putting the largest commercial passenger aircraft in the world on our busy Sydney to Guangzhou service we hope that we are showing this market how committed we are,” He added.
From December 2013, China Southern will operate 48 weekly flights to the Australasia region, with plans to increase to 55 flights by 2015. These will include A380 flights to Sydney, A330 services to Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane, and Boeing 787 Dreamliner flights to Auckland.
Sydney becomes only the second international route for China Southern A380, following Los Angeles.