AA Podcast #12: Qantas and the A380 10 years on

written by australianaviation.com.au | September 21, 2018

This edition of the Australian Aviation podcast looks back at the 10 years since Qantas took delivery of its first Airbus A380, VH-OQA Nancy-Bird Walton.

Australian Aviation managing editor Gerard Frawley and news editor Jordan Chong reflect on the arrival of the world’s largest passenger aircraft in Qantas colours, how the aircraft forever changed the aviation landscape and how it set a new benchmark for passenger comfort.

Qantas’s first A380, named Nancy-Bird Walton after the pioneering Australian aviator who was the founder and patron of the Australian Women Pilots’ Association, touched down at Sydney Airport on the morning of September 21 2008, following its delivery flight from Airbus headquarters in Toulouse via Singapore.

After an eight-year wait, the aircraft represented a monumental milestone in the history of Qantas and also for aviation in Australia.

Qantas eventually took delivery of 12 A380s and uses the aircraft on long-haul routes to London, via Singapore and to North America, as well as to some Asian ports such as Hong Kong and Singapore.

And given the on-board product is now a decade old, Qantas is giving the fleet a mid-life refresh, with the refurbishment program to start in 2019 and be completed by the end of 2020.

VH-OQA rotates from Sydney Airport with namesake Nancy-Bird Walton onboard after the aircraft’s naming ceremony on September 30. (Rob Finlayson)
VH-OQA rotates from Sydney Airport with namesake Nancy-Bird Walton onboard after the aircraft’s naming ceremony on September 30 2008. (Rob Finlayson)
The Qantas crew that from the 2008 delivery flight of VH-OQA at Sydney Airport on September 21 2008. (Andrew McLaughlin)
The Qantas crew that from the 2008 delivery flight of VH-OQA at Sydney Airport on September 21 2008. (Andrew McLaughlin)

More Qantas A380 Nancy-Bird Walton coverage on Australian Aviation

To read more about the A380 in Qantas colours, check out Australian Aviation’s story that looks back at the past decade and contemplates the aircraft’s future role with the Flying Kangaroo.

Double figures for the double-decker – 10 years since the first Qantas A380 delivery

And relive all the colour and movement from the arrival of VH-OQA by checking out Australian Aviation’s coverage of the events of 10 years ago from the November 2008 edition of the magazine:

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AA Podcast #12: Qantas and the A380 10 years on Comment

  • Geoff

    says:

    It is still early days for the wonderful A380. As the Worlds population becomes ever more urbanised, leading to more and more mega cities with their congested airports struggling to keep up, the answer is simply larger aircraft. Hence the A380’s assured future.

    Sure, more point to point services are commonplace with large twins, but hub to hub services will always be required and this is the A380’s territory. Remember, that Airbus, like Boeing develop these aircraft in collaboration with the Airlines.

    Watch this space as this magnificent aircraft matures even further. Congratulations Airbus and partners.

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