It is hard to believe that it’s been 14 years since a Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 first took to the skies. On October 25th, 2007, the aircraft operated its first revenue flight from Singapore to Sydney. 14 years on, and Singapore Airlines’ entire fleet is grounded, though it will return to London next month.
14 years ago, the Airbus A380 operated its first revenue flight. Photo: Getty Images.
14 years ago, Airbus was full of optimism for the giant A380. However, with the decline of the quadjet, the aircraft never really took off the way that the manufacturer had hoped. Long before the pandemic, Airbus has already pulled the plug on new orders, and now many jets have been permanently grounded.
14 years since the first flight
14 years ago, the Airbus A380 took to the skies on a scheduled revenue flight for the first time with its launch customer, Singapore Airlines. The aircraft operated the aptly coded flight SQ380 from Singapore to Sydney on October 25th, 2007.
Singapore Airlines aptly gave the first flight the flight number SQ380. Photo: Getty Images
As is the case with inaugural flights, Singapore Airlines put on a show. Of course, given that it was the first-ever A380 flight with passengers, a bigger deal than usual was made. Like the first A350 flight with British Airways, one of the gifts received by passengers was a certificate commemorating the flight.
Just 14 years ago today: World’s first #A380 pax flight @SingaporeAir SIN-SYD. Unfortunately what was seen as the future then has largely become the past now, including our aircraft 9V-SKA scrapped already in 2019 😢 #avgeek pic.twitter.com/2Af5besplc
— Andreas Spaeth (@SpaethFlies) October 25, 2021
Of course, such flights attract interest from a range of parties. For one passenger, the first flight of the giant Airbus A380 was more special than most. Thomas Lee was one of the passengers on the inaugural flight of the world’s largest passenger aircraft. Lee had also flown on the inaugural flight of the Boeing 747 with Pan Am back in 1970. That flight operated from New York to London on January 21st.
Thomas Lee flew on the first revenue flight of the Boeing 747 and the Airbus A380. Photo: Getty Images
Most passengers received a celebratory glass of champagne onboard, although the youngest passenger, 10-month-old Quek Pin Liang of Singapore, would’ve abstained. 91-year-old Leong Lou Teck was likely the oldest passenger on the flight.
Francis Wu celebrated his 22nd birthday onboard the A380 14 years ago. Photo: Getty Images
The trip was also more of a celebration for a student from Hong Kong named Francis Wu. Wu celebrated his 22nd birthday onboard the flight. His parents bought his ticket for $1,250 in an online charity auction. Today he turns 36.
What’s the future of the Airbus A380?
Unfortunately, in the last 14 years, the Airbus A380 has started to fall out of favor, with both Singapore Airlines and others. Half of the Singapore Airlines fleet has now been retired, with Air France even planning its entire fleet retirement since before the start of the pandemic. Since then, Lufthansa has also ruled out the jet, while Etihad isn’t expected to fly the giant again. With the A380’s future secured for at least a decade by Emirates, the question remains,
The future of the A380 – does it have one outside of Dubai?
Join Andreas and me to discuss the future of the Airbus A380 on November 10th.
On November 10th, I’ll discuss the question with Independent Aviation Journalist Andreas Spaeth, who was also onboard the inaugural A380 flight. You can join in with our discussion, alongside attending keynote interviews and a daily Simple Flying avgeek quiz at the upcoming Future Flying Forum hosted by Simple Flying and Avia Dev.
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Where were you during the A380’s first flight 14 years ago? Let us know in the comments below!
Article Source simpleflying.com