The making of the A380
In 1996, Air France set off on a singular adventure in the history of aeronautics: the creation of the world´s largest civil aircraft. Through its active participation in work groups between Airbus and the airline companies that contributed to the A380´s launch, Air France sought to help design an aircraft to meet its customers´ expectations.
Preparing the A380´s arrival
To prepare for the A380´s arrival, Air France worked extensively with airport authorities to best adapt infrastructure and equipment on the ground. The runways, for example, must stretch 45 m / 148 ft across and the 538 passengers must be able to board comfortably on 2 levels!
In addition, Air France crew and on-ground staff go through special training to adapt to the demands of this extraordinary aircraft.
The first flight
After several years of preparation, the special day finally arrived on November 23, 2009: Air France operated its first commercial A380 flight between Paris-Charles de Gaulle and New York! It became the first European airline to offer flights on this double-decker, four-engine super jumbo, which is capable of flying over 13,000 km (8,078 mi) at 900 km/hr (560 mph).
Air France welcomes its first A380 on November 20, 2009