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British Airways Announces A380 Service to Chicago O’hare
British Airways has announced its latest Airbus A380 service will be to the Windy City. The new service, which will launch in May of 2018, will be the first regularly scheduled service of an A380 into Chicago O’Hare International Airport.
British Airways currently operates two daily services to the airport, BA 297 and BA 295, with the A380 expected to replace the Boeing 747 currently operating the latter.
While this will be the first regular service of the A380 into O’hare, it is not the first A380 to land at the airport. Back in 2007, Lufthansa took one of its A380s into the airport while undertaking a tour of the US to complete FAA required technical procedures.
Dubai-based Emirates then flew one of its A380 aircraft into O’Hare to test out the improvements designed to allow the airport to accommodate the large jet back in July last year.
City Aviation Commissioner, Ginger Evans, said, “The arrival of the Emirates’ A380 plane to O’Hare International Airport is exciting for the city of Chicago.”
While the special service was met with excitement by everyone involved, it was not without incident. It was reported at the time that the aircraft suffered minor damage by a jet bridge shortly after its arrival into the airport.
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Even though the airport has maintained a sufficient runway to accommodate the aircraft since 2013, it lacked a gate large enough to accommodate the double-decker plane. The airport carried out extensive renovations to a gate last year, costing nearly $5 million.
The upgrades are part of a project to expand Terminal 5 and redevelop Terminal 2 in a move which Ginger Evans said “will let O’Hare handle scheduled or emergency A380 flights diverted from another airport and keep O’Hare competitive.”
The city will also be constructing a second 200-foot-wide runway to accommodate the aircraft, said Gregg Cunningham, special projects coordinator. The runway is due to be in service in 2020. British Airways’ A380 service to Chicago will launch in May of next year, and tickets are currently available online for reservation.
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