Cape Town gets another glimpse of the A380

African christening ceremony Lufthansa A380

Capetonians may notice an extra-large aircraft flying over Table Mountain to give passengers a panoramic view of the city and its surroundings on June 28. It will be Lufthansa’s giant Airbus A380, now used by the German airline on its daily service between Johannesburg and Frankfurt.

Unfortunately, it will not be the start of a service to this city using the huge plane. Lufthansa withdraws its scheduled service to Cape Town during the winter months and is not expected to resume it until the start of our holiday season. The flight will be for guests who have attended a traditional “African christening ceremony” for the A380 to be held at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo Airport that morning. It will be Cape Town’s first glimpse of the A380 since the manufacturers flew one into our airport as part of the trials held in different parts of the world before it came into commercial service.

I will be attending the "African christening ceremony" and the flight and will report back with all the details.

Please click HERE for a gallery of photos



Airbus A380 Second visit in South Africa

First Photos 

The Airbus A380 landed again today on 18 February 2010 at exactly 11H00 South African time.

This time in Air France Colours.

It was incredible seeing this giant aircraft for the second time.

I was following it's course on the internet and took off from my office at about 10H45 when I heard that it was cleared for approach for runway 03R at OR Tambo International airport.

As with the first landing in 2006, everyone was amazed at how quiet the aircraft is.

It goes to show how modern engineering have developed over the years - Thinking of the first Boeing 747's and 737's that were so loud!!

I have placed some photos of the A380 landing today at OR Tambo International Airport so that those who could not make it at least know what she looks like.


By Bernard Stander

By Bernard Stander 

By Chris Botha By Chris Botha 

  Air France A380 Resting at OR Tambo



Airbus A380 Gallery

A380 in South Africa

A Short video of the Airbus A380 landing at OR Tambo Internaional Airport
Download it here


When I heard that the A380 was coming to SA, I was very exited!

I phoned and sent sms's to all my aviation friends. On the Friday before it landed, I was taking 7 people to the Butcher shop restaurant in Sandton. When they boarded my van, I realized that these guys were from Airbus and that 4 of them were technical crew and the other 3 were sales executives. I had the greatest and most interesting conversation on the way there and back. They gave me a small silver A380 broach and asked me if I want to join them on Sunday to view the plane on the ramp. I thanked them for the offer, but I was already going with a friend from SAA Technical, who arranged for us to go.

I then asked one of the Airbus guys if they would be able to get a signature of the pilot that was flying the plane in on Sunday. He said, with pleasure and I must meet him at the plane on Sunday.

Well, Sunday came and I was waiting at the end of runway 03R and listening to my scanner to hear when she gets into JHB area. You have to picture this now, it was a overcast morning with lower than normal light. When the A380 appeared through the cloud cover it was huge, I mean huge!! Most people that were there, just stopped to find out what was going on, just to be surprised by this mammoth plane. I took a couple of photos, but my main objective(because I knew that it would be landing at least for times to test the auto-land) was video from the side of the runway(as can be seen in some of the photos above). I put my folding ladder up against the fence next to the runway in Witkoppie Ridge and took video and photos from there.

After that, I scrambled over to East Rand Mall to get my photos printed. The photo where it touches the runway was my selection for a plan! I printed that photo A4 size for my signature from the pilot on the photo.

The walk around the aircraft took about 1 hour!! I like concentrating on detail and boy was there a lot of that! I was looking for the guy from Airbus who was supposed to meet me there. When they asked us to leave the area later that afternoon, I realized that my hopes of a pilot signature was dashed. Then I got an phone call from the same guy, apologizing for not being there, but that I should bring the photo to his hotel room and he would see if he could get me a signature.

I dropped it off at his hotel at 21h00 that evening and he told me that he would keep in touch and took my postal address in case he couldn't get it to me in time. About 1 month later I received a package in the post and didn't even know what it was untill I opened it and found my photo, framed and signed by the pilot who landed first in SA, the first pilot that took off with the A380 in France and the pilot that landed that first A380. I was over the moon. Thanks to him!

In all, it was a very pleasing experience, not as great as seeing zs-spc landing at Rand Airport, though!!!

Niel Swart A380 photo

Photo by Niel Swart


The cockpit


Inside the cockpit of a A380(Panoramic View)


The Airbus Media Site


Click here  A380 Website


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