Thursday, January 20, 2005

Would You Like to Super-Size That?

Airbus has just about broken even on its new A380 superjumbo with 149 orders for the double-decker civil airliner. A figure of 250 is estimated to be the break even point.

UPS is one of the companies that ordered the new airplane that boasts it can hold 555 seated passengers, and could possibly include casinos and nurseries. The plane is as big as a football field and can park 70 cars on its massive wings.

Boeing's executives refer to the plane jokingly as "Noel's Ark". Noel Forgeard is the President and CEO of Airbus. The Boeing 747 is currently the only double-decker flight carrier in operation and the A380 is similiar except that the top deck extends all the way to the tail.

Singapore Airlines boasts being the "First to Fly" one of these superjumbo jets starting mid-2006. The airline bought 10 of the carriers and will use them on their routes to London, Sydney, Hong Kong, San Francisco, Paris, & Frankfurt.

"The A380 will enable us to increase our capacity at the world’s busiest airports where it is difficult to obtain extra slots. For this reason alone, the A380 is vital to our future development."
Emirates ordered 45 of the carriers and will enter the skies on November 1, 2006.

FedEx has ordered ten of the all-cargo versions, the A380-800F (a.k.a. A380F), due out in 2008. They have options on ten more.

Boasting 40,000 cubic feet, the A380F is capable of carrying a freight load of 150 tonnes over about 6,000 nautical miles (10,400 kilometres) offering an advantage over competitor freighters. For FedEx, the A380F will play a vital role in connecting the North American and Asian markets and meeting the company’s future growth requirements.
International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) ordered five A380 passenger aircraft and five A380 freighters. They are discussing leasing two of the passenger planes with Air China for use during the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.


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