Sat, Nov 17, 2007
Development To Begin On A380-900 In 2010
This week, Airbus confirmed it plans to build an even bigger
version of the world's largest passenger airliner.
The A380-900 would be able to carry as many as 900 passengers in
a single-class configuration, Airbus says. Development work on the
plane is expected to begin in 2010, after the current -800 variant
of the A380 reaches full production, according to Chief Operating
Officer John Leahy.
At this week's Dubai Air Show, Emirates told the European
planemaker if Airbus builds the plane, the airline would buy it.
International Lease Finance Corp. (ILFC) is also interested in the
plane, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported last month.
Emirates President Tim Clark told Bloomberg the airline would
likely equip an A380-900 with closer to 750 seats, in order to
maintain premium and first-class accommodations for higher-paying
On the other side of the coin, Clark adds, some planes heading
to Thailand and Saudi Arabia could support a high-density
configuration with as many as 1,000 seats... a figure Clark admits
could overwhelm airports.
Avitas consultant Adam Pilarski says the current A380 is a plane
"itching to be stretched," noting the current wing was designed to
support a much larger fuselage than the -800.
"The wing is so huge that the plane looks weird," Pilarski said,
boldly predicting the A380 program would "be a flop" if a larger
model wasn't introduced.
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