SUPPORT (183 Members) . GROW (7 Association). PROMOTE (Visitors from 14 Countries). (Check The Site's Statistics)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Giant A380 arrives in India on maiden visit

A superjumbo Airbus A380 landed in New Delhi yesterday in its first flight to the country in a trip designed to raise the profile of its only Indian customer. The aircraft flew into the country to mark the second anniversary of private domestic carrier Kingfisher Airlines, the only Indian airline and among 16 airlines globally to have ordered the plane from Europe’s Airbus Industrie.
“The plane is here on a route-proving and airport compatibility exercise,” an Airbus spokesman said.
As part of a technical drill, the massive jet will fly select passengers around New Delhi before heading off for Mumbai on Wednesday.
Kingfisher Airlines, owned by Indian distiller UB group, ordered five A380s in 2005 among 15 planes in a deal worth about $3bn.
It expects the first delivery of the aircraft in 2011 as it draws up plans for an international debut, using the A380 — which has been much delayed in production — on high-density routes such as to the United States.
“Kingfisher Airlines completes two immensely successful years of operations on May 9, and the visit of A380 to coincide with Kingfisher’s anniversary celebrations marks a major milestone for the airline and for Indian aviation,” a statement issued by the airline said.
The celebrations will be led by Vijay Mallaya, chairman of UB group, and will include John Leahy, chief operating officer for Airbus, who flew the A380 from the group’s headquarters at Toulouse in France.
Airbus officials claim that the A380, which is 73m long with a wingspan of 15m and has a capacity of over 525 seats, entails a per-seat operating cost that is 15-20% lower than rivals.
“Airbus’ A380 is simply the largest, most spacious and most economic airliner ever built,” the European manufacturer says.
Air travel in India has soared in the past five years as almost a dozen new airlines have been launched to serve demand in the fast-expanding economy.

No comments: