Monday 22 November 2010
One year ago, Air France launched its first A380 on the Paris-New York route, becoming the first airline to operate the world's largest passenger aircraft between Europe and the United States.
On 30 October 2009 in Hamburg, Air France took delivery of its first Airbus A380. The superjumbo, registration FHPJA, landed at Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport at 4:27pm, where it received the traditional water salute from the fire department.
The weeks that followed were devoted to the final technical checks, cabin preparation and crew training. On 20 November, Air France launched the A380 on its Paris-New York route. The aircraft took off at 11:39 am from Paris-Charles de Gaulle and landed at New York-Kennedy airport after a little over 7 hours.
On the two inaugural Paris-New York-Paris flights, 760 seats were put up for auction. The proceeds of 300,000 euros, much higher than initially expected, helped to finance five humanitarian projects in favour of underprivileged children instead of the three which had been initially planned.
380 winning bidders had the unique opportunity of being on board the first transatlantic flight between Europe and the United States by A380.
Three days later, on 23 November, on the Paris-New York route, Air France operated the first commercial transatlantic flight by A380 equipped with 538 seats. The aircraft took off from Paris-CDG at 1:30 pm and landed at New York-Kennedy at 3:45 pm local time.
With the inaugural Paris-Johannesburg flight on 17 February 2010, Air France became the first airline to operate the A380 to Africa.
On 1 September 2010, Air France flew for the first time from Paris to Tokyo by A380, the aircraft's first destination in Asia. The aircraft, registration F-HPJD, Air France's fourth A380, took off early afternoon from the north runway at Paris-CDG and landed at Tokyo-Narita the following day at 8:10 am local time.
On 7 October this year, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Air France presence in Canada, the airline operated a special flight by A380 to Montreal, the next destination to be served by the superjumbo as from 9 May 2011.
Air France has ordered 12 A380s, four of which are already in service.
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