Air France (Paris) last night (December 1) introduced the Airbus A380 on the Paris (CDG)-Miami route as planned. Miami International Airport (MIA) issued this statement:
Miami International Airport kicked off the final month of the year on a grand scale yesterday (December 1), welcoming Air France’s Airbus A380-800 superjumbo jet to Miami for the first time. The world’s largest passenger aircraft touched down at 6:04 p.m., making Air France just the second airline to offer A380 service at MIA in the process. The French flag carrier will offer seasonal service on the popular Miami-Paris route through March 27, 2015 with the new aircraft.
The inaugural arrival was greeted with a water cannon salute by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue and arriving passengers were treated to gift bags from the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau. Officials from the Miami-Dade Aviation Department (MDAD), Air France and the French government then joined passengers waiting to board the inaugural departure flight to Paris for a ceremonial ribbon-cutting and commemorative cake.
Air France’s version of the double-decker aircraft has ample capacity to meet high passenger demand during the busy winter travel season. The aircraft is arranged in a four-class, 516-seat configuration, comprised of La Première (First), Business, Premium Economy and Economy classes, and also features a bar for passengers to enjoy. The A380 represents a gain of 133 seats over the 383-seat Boeing 777-300ER aircraft that normally operates on the route. Daily Miami-Paris service on the Air France A380 is scheduled to arrive at MIA at 6:05 p.m. and depart for Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport at 8:55 p.m. from Gate J-17 in the airport’s South Terminal.
German flag carrier Lufthansa was the first airline to offer A380 service at MIA, launching Miami-Frankfurt flights in June 2011. MIA will welcome additional Airbus A380 service in 2015 when longtime airline partner British Airways begins twice-daily Miami-London (Heathrow) service on the superjumbo.
Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-861 F-HPJC (msn 043) departs from Paris (CDG).