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Qantas Airways backs LAX master plan

Qantas Airways today said that a decision to approve the Los Angeles International Airport…

Qantas Airways today said that a decision to approve the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) Master Plan at the Los Angeles City Council meeting on October 19, 2004 would open the way for Qantas to operate a history-making first service with the revolutionary new Airbus A380 aircraft from Australia to Los Angeles in 2006.

Qantas Airways Senior Executive Vice President Wally R. Mariani said that the LAX Master Plan included the facility, safety and runway improvements needed for the new aircraft type, which would be a vital part of the airline`s future operations.

The Master Plan also addresses issues such as gate upgrades, without which we would see more than 500 passengers from the A380 bused from remote terminals into the main airport terminal, Mariani said. Due to this significant increase in the number of passengers carried, it becomes a totally unsatisfactory customer experience to use remote operations, he added.

Earlier this year, American superstar and Qantas Ambassador John Travolta traveled to Australia to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Qantas flights to the U.S. and launch the first-ever nonstop commercial flights between Brisbane, in Queensland, Australia, and Los Angeles. An aviation milestone, the service commenced on June 16, 2004 with three weekly direct flights.

We operate more flights to LAX than any other international airline, Mariani said, adding, Last year, we flew more than 900,000 people and 27 million pounds of cargo to and from Los Angeles, which represents a contribution of billions of dollars to tourism and a significant commercial benefit for importers and exporters.

We have also increased our nonstop services between Sydney and Los Angeles over the past 12 months with an additional four weekly flights and will increase our Melbourne-Los Angeles nonstop services in the near future. We currently fly 37 Boeing 747 return flights a week between Australia/New Zealand and Los Angeles.

We expect to fly more people than ever this year and by 2007, visitor numbers from Australia and New Zealand are expected to increase by almost 150,000 annually. This translates to a significant commercial benefit for the Los Angeles region`s economy, he added.

Mariani also stated, It is clearly in everyone`s interest to find a more efficient and environmentally friendly way to cope with this increase.

The Airbus A380 would:

  • contribute to Los Angeles` tourism and commerce revenue by allowing Qantas to increase the number of seats by 34% through to 2009 without any increase in the number of aircraft movements
  • reduce airborne noise through design features including acoustic treatments, wing tip and droop nose devices
  • reduce exhaust gases with its new engine and airframe design
  • reduce ground noise through quieter taxiing, reduced auxiliary power unit output and noise abatement ground software.

International carriers worldwide have committed, or are in the process of committing resources to upgrade their fleets to include the A380 and other next generation aircraft, Mariani said. We are well down the track with plans to take the A380 to a range of airports around the world, including London and Singapore. However, we are initially committed to operating the A380 to Los Angeles, where we offer more services than any other international carrier.

We are looking forward to working with Los Angeles to develop the best possible service for the next era of air travel, he added.

Vicky Karantzavelou
Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales. She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.