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Thu, Aug 16, 2007

It Took Two Years... But A380 On Track For First Delivery

Singapore Airlines To Receive First Plane October 15

After two years of costly delays and irate customers, there is light at the end of the tunnel for Airbus' A380 superjumbo program. In line with the European planemaker's announced plan of delivering the first A380 to Singapore Airlines in October 2007, Airbus confirmed Thursday the formal hand-over will take place on Monday, October 15.

After a dedicated delivery ceremony in Toulouse, the first A380 in revenue service will take-off for Singapore's Changi International Airport within a couple of days. The new double-decker-aircraft will commence the world's first A380 commercial airline-service between Singapore and Sydney on October 25.

BBC News reports Singapore Airlines will auction off most seats on that first flight on the online auction site eBay, with proceeds going to charity. That auction is due to begin August 27; opening bidding for economy class seats will start at $3.80, with Business Class seats starting at $38. Bidding for a full-boat, luxury seat in the airline's Suite Class wil start at $380.

"Everyone at Singapore Airlines is keenly anticipating the delivery of this new plane... the first flight promises to be one of the most exciting occasions in aviation history," said chief executive officer Chew Choon Seng.

Airbus says the A380 is cleaner, greener, quieter and smarter that current airliners. Per passenger, the A380 has a fuel efficiency of 2.9 litres per 100 kilometers.

FMI: www.airbus.com

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