Qantas receives second A380 superjumbo

Qantas has taken delivery of its second Airbus A380 aircraft - the largest airliner in the world.

The new A380 was handed over in Toulouse last night and will arrive in Sydney tomorrow morning. The superjumbo will begin flying from Australia to Los Angeles on December 22, with its first flight taking off from Melbourne.

Qantas executive general manager John Borghetti said the addition of the second A380 would allow up to six superjumbo flights to Los Angeles per week. The airline's first A380 currently flies to Los Angeles three times a week.

The third Qantas A380 is due for delivery on December 27. Its entry into service will see the start of the Qantas A380 flights on the `kangaroo route' - flying to London's Heathrow Airport via Singapore.

Mr Borghetti said the airline would fly three return A380 services to Heathrow per week, starting from January 16.

The airline's second superjumbo has been named after Qantas' first managing director, Hudson Fysh. The first A380 was named after Nancy-Bird Walton, Australia's first female commercial pilot.

Qantas is scheduled to take delivery of a further four A380s in 2009, and a fleet of 20 aircraft is scheduled to be in service by the end of 2013.

Like the Boeing Dreamliner, the production of the Airbus A380 was hit by delays of up to two years. Former Qantas CEO Geoff Dixon said in September that Qantas would have had between eight and 12 superjumbos in the air by now if not for the delays.

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