Qantas celebrates debut of A380 flights to Texas
Qantas Flight 7 departed Sydney Airport for Dallas/Fort Worth Monday, giving the Qantas the honor of operating the longest A380 flight in the world.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said using the A380 offers the carrier both greater fuel efficiency and a 10% increase in the number of seats it offers on its route between Sydney and Dallas. Qantas previously flew a Boeing 747-400 on the route.
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Joyce touted the A380 service between Sydney and DFW as offering "direct access right in the heart of the U.S. with over 50 connections to all U.S. major cities within four hours, including Orlando, Boston and Houston."
Qantas is able to offer those connections through American Airlines, a member of the oneworld frequent-flier that also includes Qantas. In addition, American and Qantas have a codeshare alliance that allows them to sell seats on connecting flights operated by the other carrier.
To celebrate the new service milestone, Qantas' A380 received a traditional water-cannon salute as it arrived at DFW.
Qantas painted the A380 operating its maiden A380 flight to Texas with a special livery: the iconic kangaroo on the airplane's featured a Stetson cowboy hat and a blue neckerchief decorated with American-style stars. A "G'Day Texas" emblem was added to the forward doors.
And through Oct. 5, Qantas' in-flight menu from Sydney to DFW will includes U.S.themed dishes, beverages and sweets.
First-class passengers can order a 28-day Nolan dry-aged cowboy rib eye, with mac and cheese on the side. Fliers in the business class can dine on chipotle port tortillas while Premium Economy passengers can munch on Texas hot dogs with chili black beans.
And through March, coach-class passengers can snack on a variety of American favorites, including Dr. Pepper, A&W sodas, Route 66 Root Beer, pulled beef sliders and Jolly Ranchers hard candy, which a flight attendant on board the flight said was quite popular in Australia.
Qantas now flies six round-trip A380 flights each week (every day except Tuesday) on the route between Sydney and DFW. The Sydney to DFW flight (QF7) is scheduled to take 14 hours and 50 minutes. The DFW to Sydney flight (QF8) is scheduled at 15 hours and 30 minutes.
The Qantas A380 has 484 seats: 14 in first class, 64 in business, 35 in Premium Economy and 371 regular coach.
Among those on Qantas maiden A380 flight to DFW was Qantas Ambassador and certified pilot John Travolta, who greeted arriving passengers as they exited the A380 in Texas.
Speaking to reporters at DFW, Travolta said he began collecting old airline tickets and old airline schedules as a child.
He said he became enthralled with Qantas early on because it "has a long history of offering some of the world's longest flights."
"It's really quiet and spacious," he said about his experiencing flying as a passenger on the A380.