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Saturday, June 09, 2007

Giant A380 arrives in India on maiden visit

A superjumbo Airbus A380 landed in New Delhi on Sunday 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 the western financial hub of Mumbai on Wednesday.

Kingfisher Airlines, owned by Indian distiller UB group, ordered five A380s in 2005 among 15 planes in a deal worth about three billion dollar.

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.

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.

1 comment:

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