Planemaker Bets On Country's Need For Long-Haul Flights
Scores of people waited on the sides of the road near India's
Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport Sunday, in anticipation
of a big event... involving a big plane.
At the expected time, the cheers went up as an Airbus A380
made its first landing in India -- after circling the airport
twice before touching down, reported The Associated Press.
New Delhi airport officials said the landing of the aircraft was
smooth with clockwork precision... and the aircraft later parked at
a bay near the Haj Terminal of the IGI Airport. The pilot of the
aircraft waved the Indian tri-color flag as soon as the aircraft
reached the parking bay.
The runway and taxiways at the airport had been readied earlier
for the mammoth A380. Airport officials cleaned up the grass
shoulders along the sides of the runway to make way for the jet's
wings, which span nearly a football field.
The A380 is in India for airport compatibility tests at New
Delhi and Mumbai, as well as route-roving demonstration flights.
Airbus will formally display the plane at a Monday news
Kingfisher Airlines has ordered for five A380s and will take
delivery of the aircraft from 2011 onwards at the superjumbo price
of $300 million each. The airline is the first private
carrier in India to order the A380.
Kingfisher is planning two demonstration flights from New Delhi
to Mumbai on Monday and Tuesday and is launching a promotional
campaign which will give select guests a chance to be the first to
fly on board the Airbus A380 in India, according to the company's
India's private airlines have only been able to
fly overseas since 2005, as ANN reported. When Airbus began
taking orders for its A380, state-run Air India had already placed
an order for 68 Boeing planes.
However, recent air travel in the country has seen the rapid
growth of a number of private airlines, many gearing up for
The pace of modernization at major airports, however, is looked
at by airlines with a cautious eye. Airport runways that can handle
the A380 are expected to be ready by 2010 in New Delhi and