Los Angeles airport officials said Wednesday that Airbus officials reneged on a promise to bring the new A380 jetliner to Los Angeles International Airport on its first U.S. test flight after the airport spent $9 million to accommodate the huge jet.
Los Angeles World Airports officials claim that Airbus executives told them early last year that it would bring the A380 to LAX on its maiden U.S. flight if the airport expedited construction of a $9-million gate to accommodate the jet for an August 2006 flight, the Los Angeles Times reports. That was delayed after the jet experienced a rash of technical setbacks and production delays. The flight was pushed back to June of this year.
LAX officials said they recently learned that Airbus had decided to fly the A380 from Frankfurt, Germany, to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport on March 19, then to O'Hare International Airport in Chicago the next day.
Airbus said it was impossible for Airbus to fly the jet to Los Angeles before its flights to New York and O'Hare, but promised that LAX would get the first "Airbus-operated U.S. visit" in June. Airbus added that it decided to take the famed jet to the East Coast destinations first at the request of Lufthansa Airlines, whose crews have helped test the aircraft.
LAX had hoped to use the landing as a way to boost the image of the airport and its older and often-criticized facilities.
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