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.
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.
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:
- Worth the wait: The Qantas A380 era begins
- Delivering Nancy: Accepting and Delivering the first Qantas A380
- Sim-sational: A Boeing pilot flies the Qantas A380 simulator
- Space-ship? Evaluating the Qantas A380 interior
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