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Thread: There's a new bird in the sky...
10-25-2007, 02:25 AM #1
There's a new bird in the sky...
...as in the new Singapore Airlines A380....It started its maiden commercial service today from Changi to Sydney. and back..
Any BC members or friends or relatives who are taking this maiden flight?? going to and coming from Sydney??..
Singapore Airlines' A380 makes history
By GILLIAN WONG, Associated Press Writer
1 hour, 18 minutes ago
ON BOARD FLIGHT SQ380 - A Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 took off on a historic journey Thursday — the first commercial flight by the world's largest jetliner, which boasts luxurious suites enclosed by sliding doors, double beds, a bar and the quietest interior of any plane.
With 455 passengers, some of whom paid tens of thousands of dollars for a seat in aviation history, the superjumbo left Singapore for Sydney at 8:16 a.m. on a 7 1/2-hour flight that launches a new era in air travel. Also on board flight SQ380 are a crew of about 30 including four pilots.
Passengers clapped as the plane left the gate on schedule and taxied to the runway that was widened and lengthened to accommodate the plane. More cheers broke out 16 minutes later as the double-decker aircraft, powered by four Rolls Royce Trent 900 engines, lifted smoothly into the nearly cloudless sky tinged pink by the light of the early morning sun.
Flight attendants handed out champagne and certificates to passengers.
"It is huge in here and very comfortable, even in economy, although the seats are a bit narrow," said Chris Billowes, 59, of Sweden, as he sipped champagne, leaning against the bulkhead near the emergency exit.
Also among the passengers was Swedish electronics engineer Ralf Danielsson, 58, who took the first Concorde flight in 1979. "Twenty-eight years later, I thought it would be fun to do something like that again," he said.
The A380 ends the nearly 37-year reign of the U.S.-made Boeing 747 jumbojet as the world's most spacious passenger plane. The A380 is also the most fuel efficient and quietest passenger jet ever built, from inside and outside, according to its European manufacturer, Airbus SAS.
It was delivered to Singapore Airlines on Oct. 15, nearly two years behind schedule after billions of dollars in cost overruns for Airbus. Still, the wait was worth it, says Singapore Airlines, which got the exclusivity of being the plane's sole operator for 10 months.
"This is indeed a new milestone in the timeline of aviation," said Chew Choon Seng, chief executive of Singapore Airlines, or SIA, in a speech before the departure. He said the A380 is "the first totally new big aircraft to be designed and built since the Boeing 747" nearly four decades ago.
Chew, flanked by two flight attendants, greeted passengers with a smile and a nod as they boarded the aircraft, which is as tall as a seven-story building. Each wing is big enough to hold about 70 mid-sized cars.
The Boeing 747 jumbo jet generally carries about 500 passengers. But the A380 is capable of carrying 853 passengers in an all-economy class configuration.
However, Singapore Airlines, recognized as one of the best in the world, opted for 471 seats in three classes — 12 Singapore Airlines Suites, 60 business class and 399 economy class.
Each suite, enclosed by sliding doors, is fitted with a leather upholstered seat, a table, a 23-inch flat screen TV, laptop connections and a range of office software. A separate bed folds up into the wall. Two of the suites can be joined to provide double beds.
On the upper deck, business class seats can turn into wide flat beds, while the economy class seats on both decks will enjoy more leg and knee room, the carrier says. Business class passengers also have a bar area.
SIA auctioned most of the seats on the inaugural flight on eBay, raising $1.26 million for charity. The highest bidder was Briton Julian Hayward who bought two suite seats for $100,380. He was the first passenger to board.
Officials said the aircraft carried 455 passengers including 11 in the suites. One suite was left empty for display.
Analysts say that with about 70 more seats than the 747, the A380 is set to provide much needed extra capacity and greater efficiency for SIA on the busy Singapore-Sydney route, and the Singapore-London route expected to start in February with the delivery of the second plane.
"At the moment, some passengers are having difficulty booking flights on those sectors because there isn't enough capacity," said Leithen Francis, the Singapore-based deputy Asia editor of Air Transport Intelligence, an aviation market information service.
SIA has ordered a total of 19 A380s, hoping to benefit from a recent boom in air travel that has seen global air traffic growing 5 to 10 percent a year.
Dubai-based Emirates, Airbus' largest A380 customer with 55 on order, will take its first delivery only in August 2008.
Still, not all analysts are convinced that the plane, which has a list price of $320 million, will be a success.
"I see there's some demand for the A380, but it's an expensive way to address a small market," said Standard & Poor's Equity Research analyst Shukor Yusof.
Shukor said the market was set to be dominated by mid-sized, long haul two-engine aircraft such as the rival Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which offers greater fuel efficiency than four-engine jets of the same size.
He pointed out that orders for the 787 have exceeded 700. The A380 has received 165 orders to date.
10-25-2007, 03:30 AM #2
massive airliner. sydney airport had to spend billions of $ to accommodate this giant.
10-25-2007, 08:07 AM #3
10-25-2007, 08:17 AM #4
KLIA had one runway closed of late for expansion work to accommodate the big bird.
10-25-2007, 06:37 PM #5
Last edited by ctjcad; 10-25-2007 at 06:43 PM.
10-25-2007, 11:53 PM #6
when is malaysia airline gonna order this plane??
10-26-2007, 12:49 AM #7
They ordered some... 12 of it (I think) many years ago, it's Airbus that are behind schedule. I read that the deal was in danger of collapsing with MAS possibly opting for Boeing's largest as a fall back option.
10-26-2007, 01:26 AM #8
I got an email from SIA about the flight ... but i have no plans to go Sydney. No point boarding it. Maybe i will try to take the MAS flight when the super bird arrives.
10-26-2007, 03:58 AM #9
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