But US airlines' passengers fly regularly on the A380. American code shares with Qantas on flights from Los Angeles to Sydney and Melbourne. United (UAL) code shares with Lufthansa on A380 joint venture flights from Frankfurt to Miami and San Francisco.
Mann says he is surprised at the high number of A380s that have been sold -- Airbus has taken orders for 253 and delivered 69 -- and at the array of U.S. airports. "I would not have expected to see some of the non slot-restricted airports you see today," he says. "I underestimated the impact of joint ventures and antitrust immunity."
Initially, many experts assumed the principal A380 routes would involve congested, slot-controlled airports such as London Heathrow, Tokyo Narita and Kennedy. Of course, Mann notes, once airlines buy A380s, "They have to put them somewhere." In the U.S., he says, the only real choices are major international gateways and major hubs.One thing experts find unsurprising is that no U.S. airline has ordered an A380. "It simply doesn't fill the needs of U.S. carriers, as opposed to flag carriers of other nations," aviation consultant Scott Hamilton says. "You have so many interior cities in the U.S. that now have
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