The countdown to the premiere of the airline’s first Airbus A380 starts today as tickets go on sale for the aircraft’s debut destination, Los Angeles – the red carpet route to Hollywood.

The first aircraft is set to arrive at Heathrow in July and seats are now on sale to travel from October 15, 2013. To celebrate the launch the airline is offering prices starting from £499 return.

Further deliveries will see the opening of our second A380 route to Hong Kong.

Keith Williams, chief executive, said: “This will be a very special premiere. The A380 is a great aircraft that has been developed with huge amounts of British engineering ingenuity. London and Los Angeles are two world-leading cities, and we are proud to be the first airline to connect them with the A380.”

The A380 will be the largest aircraft in the British Airways fleet, accommodating 469 customers across four cabins. Customers in First will be seated at the front of the main deck. The cabin will offer 14 seats and is evolved from the current First class. Club World (business class) customers can choose from 44 seats on the main deck, or 53 seats on the upper deck. These upper deck seats will feature a new 2:3:2 configuration across the cabin. The 55 World Traveller Plus (premier economy) seats will be located on the upper deck while World Traveller (economy) customers can choose seats on both the main and upper deck. Both cabins will feature the airline’s current design, which is now flying on the new B777-300ER fleet.

The aircraft’s innovative design makes it much quieter during take-off and landing and more fuel efficient than its predecessors. British Airways has ordered 12 for delivery by 2016 as part of a £5bn investment over five years in new aircraft, smarter cabins, elegant lounges, and new technologies to make life more comfortable in the air and on the ground.
Colleagues across the company have been preparing for the new arrival. The airline has completed a multi-million pound redevelopment of the Heathrow engineering base, there are new flight simulators installed at TBA and new infrastructure at Terminal 5 including triple jetties and new A380-capable tractors.

In keeping with the launch destination, Hollywood star Gemma Arterton is helping BA promote the new route. “Working in film means that I spend a lot of time travelling around the world, often to Los Angeles,” said the London-based actress. “The A380 is a big plane for a big city. Everyone can have the chance to travel the Red Carpet Route, and I’m sure it will be a box office hit.”