Wednesday, April 27, 2005

A Giant Bird Takes Off

The Airbus super-jumbo aircraft, which is the largest passenger airliner ever built, took off on its maiden flight today in Toulouse, France. The A380 is designed to carry 555 passengers in three classes and can be expanded to accomodate 800 seats. It features a double-deck cabin and is about one-third larger than the Boeing 747, its next-largest competitor.

So far, Airbus has 154 firm orders for the A380, 43 of which from Dubai's Emirates Airlines. The plane is scheduled to enter service for Singapore Airlines in the second half of 2006. No American airlines have ordered the A380 to date nor are they expected to do so in the near future.

Airbus stresses the plane's fuel efficiency and low noise emissions in comparison to the Boeing 747 but recognizes that new terminal and airport redesign are needed to accomodate the new Jumbo jet. Airbus executives say that in the next 20 years the number of airports that could support A380 flights will grow substantially.


Anonymous ninine said...

j'espère seulement que cet oiseau géant est assez bien confectionné pour transporter autant de vies

April 27, 2005

Blogger laurenbove said...

Oh My! This thing is huge! You must have seen Airbus website. It's gorgeous and totally interactive. Fun! I have another bit of fun for you:

Do You Want To Play?

April 27, 2005

Blogger Rebecca said...

So does this mean we'd get a series entitled the Magic School Airbus?

April 27, 2005

Blogger Jawad said...

Ninine: C'est un vrai chef d'oeuvre.

Lauren: It is huge!! Thanks for the sketching tool. I drew a weird, disturbing face with Elvis-like hair. :)

April 28, 2005

Blogger laurenbove said...

Jawad My Friend: I figured someone as busy and serious minded as yourself could use a bit of levity.

You go boy, post that Elvis! I want to see it for myself.

Re: New Big Bird and it's hugeness...I guess we'll have some airport revisions in the future?

April 28, 2005

Blogger Jawad said...

That is a big issue for the A380. not all airports can accommodate it. Actually only very few can because airports must redesign their movement areas and terminals to have the A380. It costs a lot of money, as you know, to redesign an airport. So, that's a big handicap. What is also interesting is Boeing's response to the A380. Boeing does NOT believe there is a market for big jumbo planes. It believes travelers want frequency rather than capacity. That is people want to have a smaller plane leaving every hour as opposed to a big plane leaving once every 4 hours. I agree with that. That's why Boeing is focusing on planes like the B787 (a very fuel-efficient 2-engine aircraft of the size of 767) and 717s. In addition Boeing is responding to the statement that A380 is 30% more fuel-efficient than the B747 by creating a version of the B747 that will be 10% more fuel efficient than the A380.

I love aviation and I am so excited to see all the emerging technology come out of its shell. Not to forget that on the military side we have the JSF and F-22. ME LOVE IT!!

April 29, 2005

Blogger Irina Tsukerman said...

Hmm, but what about luxury airplanes just like luxury liners? They don't have to leave frequently, but they could emphasis the comfort.

April 29, 2005

Blogger Jawad said...

Hi Irina: Regardless of how much passengers actually complain about service and comfort, what they actually want is low prices, direct flights to their destinations, and more frequency. That's just what the market dictates. Now, Jet Blue for instance introduced new planes with leather seats and headrest TVs. But the reason the airline is successful is because they are low-cost and serve city pairs. So, as consumers, we may say things or think we want certain things but in reality our market behavior can be totally different.

May 05, 2005

Blogger Khalij-Khazar said...

I am pretty sure I heard the BBC say there are serious environmental concerns regarding the airbus A380.

I also agree that Boeings approach seems more sound and long term oriented

May 09, 2005

Blogger Jawad said...

I haven't heard that Khalej but will search the BBC website. This is actually an issue ("lower noise emissions and better fuel efficiency") Airbus uses to help sell the A380.

May 11, 2005


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