Saturday, October 27, 2007

Airbus A380's First Flight, Join in!

The Super jumbo A380 made its debut flight to Sydney on October 25 this year with thousands of people bidding to get a seat in what is now the world's biggest passenger plane. It was handed over to Singapore Airlines at a ceremony at Airbus's headquarters in Toulouse, France, attended by over 500 people.

The Super jumbo plane has already managed to get about 165 orders to date. The plane has 12 suites each with sliding doors, a leather seat, a 23-inch LCD TV, a table and a full bed.

On board the first flight were over 450 and a crew of about 30 people including four pilots. Most of the seats were auctioned by Singapore Airlines on Ebay and raised about $1,26 mn for charity. The plane hit the ground and many top paying passengers were driven off in chauffer driven BMWs. The highest payer, an Australian millionaire, paid a whopping $100.380 for two suites! According to reports the plane is quite an experience with $18 bn development cost and gives a tough competition to Boeing 787 Dreamliner which is yet to take off. "From today, there is a new queen of the skies for air travel," is all that Singapore Airlines CEO Chew Choon Seng said about his proud possession. Seng also dismissed the rival 747 as a plane which "belongs to the past". The A380, as tall as a seven-story building, is about 30% larger than the 747. Each of its wings is big enough to hold 70 mid-sized cars.
With two passenger decks and room for a bar and shops, the A380 claims 50 per cent more floor space than the 747 and its designers boast it will introduce a new era of airborne luxury. On-board entertainment will include 100 movies, more than 180 TV programmes, 700 CDs and over 22 radio channels. The same entertainment box will include a word processor and 3D games. Besides the suites, the plane has 471 seats - 60 business class on the upper deck and 399 economy class on both decks. The total certified capacity is 853 passengers in an all-economy configuration.

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