Gerardo From Spain, joined May 2000, 3481 posts, RR: 32 Posted (13 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 2861 times:
From Yahoo! News
Airbus gets green light for superjumbo launch
TOULOUSE, France, Dec 19 (Reuters) - Airbus Industrie received approval from shareholders on Tuesday to begin building its next-generation superjumbo, the plane that will dethrone the Boeing 747 as the largest passenger airliner in the skies.
After securing firm commitments from six companies for a total of 50 A380 superjumbos, the path is now clear for the European plane maker to start working in earnest on the huge 555-seat aircraft, formerly codenamed A3XX, which it plans to begin delivering to carriers in early 2006.
``We are convinced that this aircraft will have a bright and extremely successful future,'' Airbus board chairman Manfred Bischoff said in a statement.
By virtue of its advanced technology, triple-deck layout and sheer size, the A380 promises to revolutionise air travel, shaking up the civil aircraft market in much the same way as the Boeing jumbo did when it took off some 30 years ago.
The six launch customers for the A380 received discounts of up to 30 percent on the $230 million catalogue price.
They are Air France , Emirates Airlines, International Lease Finance Corp (NYSE:AIG - news), Qantas Airways (Australia:QAN.AX - news), Singapore Airlines and Virgin Atlantic [VA.UL].
In addition to the 50 firm orders, the six companies have taken out 42 options on the superjumbo.
Airbus said European government commitments to help finance the construction of the plane were expected in 2001.
Zanadou From South Korea, joined Nov 2000, 342 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (13 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 2643 times:
Well, here's my take on this historical moment:
Superjumbo cleared for take-off
The Airbus consortium is to start production of its new superjumbo.
The new plane is to be called the A380 and will secure thousands of jobs around Europe.
Its wings will be built by UK company BAE Systems at Filton, near Bristol and Broughton in North Wales.
Other sections will be made in France, Germany and Spain, with final assembly taking place in Toulouse, France, and cabin furnishing and painting in Hamburg, Germany.
Mike Turner, chief operating officer of BAE Systems, said the project would secure or create 22,000 jobs in the UK alone.
"Today marks the real beginning for the most important civil aircraft project the world has witnessed for several decades," he added.
'Changing travel forever'
The new aircraft, previously code named the A3XX, will seat more than 550 passengers. It will go into service in 2006.
Speaking at the consortium's Toulouse headquarters on Tuesday, Airbus supervisory board chairman Manfred Bischoff said the new plane would "change forever the way people think about travel".
And he reaffirmed the consortium's belief that there was a market for a superjumbo.
"We are quite clear there is a market for planes above 400 seats.
"We are totally convinced there is a sufficient market for our programme and, you will see, we will capture it," he said.
Airbus believes that hundreds of ultra-large aircraft will be needed over the next two decades.
The company has listed the cost of an A380 at about £150m - not much more than a traditional Boeing 747 jumbo jet which seats about 413 people.
Equal terms with Boeing
Supervisory board co-chairman Jean-Luc Lagardere said the new plane would finally put Airbus on equal terms with its chief competitor Boeing - and give the world's airlines a real choice for the first time in the large aircraft market.
A recent decision by Virgin Atlantic to place a £2.6bn order for six of the planes means Airbus now has 50 confirmed orders, the minimum needed to begin production.
However, the project is already facing objections from the US over what it says are subsidies given by European governments.
The EU on Tuesday rejected that suggestion, saying financing of the A380 would be carried out in "full compliance" with the 1992 US-EU agreement on civil aircraft production.
"The form of support will be repayable loans which are in full compliance with the 1994 WTO [World Trade Organisation] agreement on subsidies," EU spokesman Gunnar Wiegand added.
The US said any loans on non-commercial terms would violate the agreements.
The A380 is expected to cost more than £7bn to build and would replace the Boeing 747 as the world's largest passenger aircraft.
Virgin says it plans to build gyms, shops and stand-up bars inside the double decker aircraft, which has been billed as a flying hotel.
The company says it may also install double beds and cabins for business-class couples.
Demand for sky-hotel
Airbus had originally joined forces with American rival Boeing in attempting to develop a superjumbo.
But Boeing bosses - unlike their Airbus counterparts - were not convinced of the demand for huge passenger planes in the future.
Boeing dropped out and decided not to press ahead with a new large aircraft of its own.
The EU on Tuesday said US complaints about the A380 project were motivated by concern to protect Boeing's supremacy in the large planes sector.
In addition to Virgin, other airlines including Qantas, Emirates, Air France, Singapore Airlines and US aircraft leasing company ILFC have also committed to ordering the new plane.
Fqtv From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2000, 156 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (13 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 2582 times:
Brilliant! Couldn't be better!
I didn't think they'd call it A380, but I guess the name is pretty good. I guess they want to keep A350/360/370 for planes smaller that the A380 - it wouldn't make sense to build a plane smaller than the A380 and call it something bigger. Now it is absolutely official, I can't wait to fly on the plane. I'm also looking forward to seeing what the American forum members say when they get home in a couple of hours - I'm sure it will all be negative and at least one person will bring up the "A3XX funding" issue. We'll see
XFSUgimpLB41X From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 4167 posts, RR: 38
Reply 13, posted (13 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 2574 times:
Welp, i guess that answers my question on what the plane will be called. Sounds cool....maybe Delta or Northwest will buy some in teh future. I would love to be able to fly one. Does anyone know when the first flight is expected?
SR3496 From Switzerland, joined May 2000, 792 posts, RR: 21
Reply 18, posted (13 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 2528 times:
Maybe A380 for 800 passenger. Same as they did the first time when Airbus named the A300. Another possibility would be to show the huge progress in technology. Not only from 340 to 350 but from 340 to 380! Just some thoughts...
CALPilot From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 997 posts, RR: 14
Reply 19, posted (13 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 2524 times:
Listen, I know that their were people back in the 60's who said the B747-200 was to big, it won't fly, it's to big airports won't handle it. Well I might eat my words by 2006, but I'm the one in this group that has to say.
It's to big, and it won't work in this system of operations, and regulations...