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Korean Air launches A380 from Los Angeles

October 11, 2011 |  4:57 pm

KoreanA380

Following a lengthy ceremony, Korean Air launched the massive Airbus A380 from Los Angeles International Airport, becoming only the third airline to fly that aircraft from L.A.

The humongous double-decker jet lifted off from LAX on Tuesday afternoon after reporters and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa toured the 407 seats, three bars and its on-board duty-free shop.

With Tuesday's flight, Korean Air joins only Qantas Airways and Singapore Airlines to offer flights on the A380 from Los Angeles.

Korean Air begins with three flights a week to Seoul with the A380 but will begin offering daily flights on the plane between the two cities starting Oct. 29.

During a ceremony before the plane lifted off, Korean Air's Americas Marketing Vice President John Jackson toasted the launch of the service, saying simply: "Wheels up."

During a tour of the cabin, Villaraigosa relaxed in the lie-flat seats in the first-class section and then sat with reporters in one of three bars in the plane.

"This is not vodka," the mayor joked as he sipped a drink. "This is only water."

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-- Hugo Martin

Photo: A Korean Air A380 prepares to take off from Los Angeles International Airport. Credit: Gary Friedman/Los Angeles Times

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