On August 3rd, 2015, South African Airways began service from Washington, DC to Accra, Ghana, introducing the A340-600 aircraft to accommodate the unprecedented range of this 10 hour air route.
Events began early in the morning, before the sun had even risen, as the inaugural flight arrived from Accra. Passengers and the South African Delegation were welcomed to Dulles during a reception with comments from Marc Cavaliere, Head of the Americas, South African Airways.
In the afternoon, the flight was scheduled to depart Washington for Accra, and Discover Dulles guests, as well as airport passengers, were treated to a traditional South African music and dance performance at the gate, before the ribbon cutting ceremony.
Since I was photographing for South African, and needed to get the perfect Water Arch shot, Airport Operations let me manage where the Foam Trucks were placed for their arch. I was joined by my longtime aviation friend James Dingell, who was interning with Airport Management at DCA this Summer.
After South African's aircraft departed, the Discover Dulles guests wanted to stay on the runway just a little longer (how often does the general public get to planespot while standing on an active runway? Never!) to watch British Airways' A380 blast off. Air France's A380 was not far behind, but the airport needed to re-open our Taxiway, so they only got to see one A380 depart, which is still an awesome sight to see!