British Airways Airbus A380 First Commercial Flight Video

by Continental Club on August 2, 2013

British Airways LogoThe majority of passengers who had dragged themselves to Terminal 5 for this morning’s 06:45 BA902 departure to Frankfurt were in for a super-sized surprise, when the aircraft waiting at gate C63 was British Airways’ brand new Airbus A380 aircraft.

Instead of the scheduled Boeing 767, one of the longest-serving types on BA’s current books, there was a definite ‘new-plane smell’ to greet the bleary-eyed travellers as they crossed the air bridge threshold and stepped aboard G-XLEA.

BA Airbus A380 Livery

At the gate, those who had failed to notice the size of their waiting craft beyond the soaring panes of T5’s windows were handed a letter from the airline, welcoming them on board this first commercial flight of an aircraft that marks the most visible beginning of a major fleet renewal.

Among those who weren’t shocked to see the A380 were a small band of aviation enthusiasts, who had obviously had an inkling of the special nature of this flight, and who had booked their seats specifically to be ‘first to fly’. They still found themselves slightly surprised though, when they were specially-included in the Cabin Service Manager’s pre-flight welcome announcement.

It’s six years since the A380 first flew in commercial service with Singapore Airlines, and as the BA plane taxied out to the runway for take-off, it passed ‘super jumbos’ already in the colours of Qantas, Emirates, Malaysia Airlines and Singapore. But, in fact, British Airways’ bird is the first of a new variant of the Airbus – with an increased payload and significant design improvements over earlier models, which include making the aircraft stronger and more efficient than its older sisters.

As an opportunity for crew to perfect their knowledge of their latest workplace, these ‘familiarisation’ flights are slated to operate on selected services throughout August 2013. Unlike Air France, among others, which have undertaken similar but higher-profile programmes in the past, BA is apparently approaching these flights in a rather more low-key manner. As with any new aircraft type, unexpected events can occur, and Air France memorably found itself having to cancel some early A380-advertised flights between Paris and London, with no similarly-sized replacement aircraft to accommodate the numbers of passengers affected.

With that in mind, British Airways is not specifically-promoting A380 operations on these Frankfurt flights, and seat sales are limited to those which would be accommodated on the usually-rostered aircraft.

The one hour 45 minute flight time to Frankfurt includes the delivery of the standard short haul service on board, with a complimentary breakfast on the morning flight. So the first experience of the full British Airways A380 ‘experience’ will still be reserved for those joining the scheduled longhaul flights, commencing in September to Los Angeles.

In the meantime those who reach their gate at T5 and think that special magnifying, engine-adding windows have been installed between them and what they expect to be a 767, can enjoy almost everything else that makes the A380 such a popular aircraft. From flat beds in Club World business class, to the uncanny quiet and higher cabin pressure in-flight, a workaday hop to or from Frankfurt could be a slightly more special experience for the next few weeks. And for a hint of what’s to expect from British Airways’ future fleet of 12 A380s, we took along our camera to capture glimpses of the journey – which includes footage from the cabins not normally occupied on these short flights.

For more information on British Airways’ new Airbus A380 aircraft, visit



[…] posted a piece on the blog which also includes my first 'go' at a video:…-flight-video/ I don't thing Messrs Tarantino or Spielberg have much to worry about with me just yet… […]

by Flying the BA A380: BA902/BA903 02.08.2013 - FlyerTalk Forums on August 2, 2013 at 8:45 PM. Reply #

[…] posted a piece on the blog which also includes my first 'go' at a video:…-flight-video/ I don't think Messrs Tarantino or Spielberg have much to worry about with me just yet, and I must […]

by Trip Reports : BA A380 'training' flights between LHR and FRA, inaugural flight 2 Aug - Page 2 - FlyerTalk Forums on August 2, 2013 at 9:49 PM. Reply #

[…] For a great review on the new A380, check out ContinentalClub’s blog post at […]

by Want to fly the BA A380 to Frankfurt? Be careful! - Ghetto IFE on August 3, 2013 at 9:07 PM. Reply #

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