Qantas Airways has become the second airline to announce that it will fly the double-decker Airbus A380 to Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, on flights from Sydney starting Sept. 29.Australia’s Qantas joins Emirates airline in bringing the plane — known as “the whale” — to DFW. The Middle East carrier had announced that it will fly the A380 on its DFW-Dubai route beginning in October.DFW is spending $2.8 million to add a jet bridge at Terminal D’s Gates 15 and 16 to accommodate the plane.“The announcement of Qantas Airways A380 service to DFW is outstanding news for our airport and the Dallas/Fort Worth region, because it adds more seats to what has become a very popular and important route,” airport Chief Executive Sean Donohue said in a statement.Donohue and Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price recently took a trade trip to Australia to promote North Texas’ economy and tourism.By using the larger jet instead of the Boeing 747-400, Qantas can operate a direct flight to Sydney. Now, the Australian carrier flies from Sydney to DFW but stops in Brisbane.The Sydney-to-DFW flight is the longest regularly scheduled commercial passenger flight in the world, an 8,500-mile route that takes about 15 hours and 25 minutes.Qantas will operate six flights a week, dropping its Tuesday flight. However, with the A380 able to carry 484 passengers, Qantas will increase its seat capacity on the route by 10 percent per week.“Dallas/Fort Worth has become an important gateway for Qantas customers since we started flying there in 2011,” Qantas Group Chief Executive Alan Joyce said in a statement.The carrier is part of American Airlines’ Oneworld alliance and also has a partnership with Emirates.
Andrea Ahles, 817-390-7631 Twitter: @Sky_Talk