The unveiling of the world’s largest passenger jet is just hours away. The A380 “superjumbo” was built by the European aircraft maker Airbus. It has 4 aisles, 4 engines, and most remarkably, 2 decks. In a standard three-class cabin configuration the A380 can carry more than 500 passengers but with just economy seats there is room for 800 passengers.
And for the comfort of those on board there is a few more centimetres per seat. The options available to carriers are endless – from bars and casinos to nurseries and shops.
But the “superjumbo” has yet to get off the ground. Its maiden flight will be at the end of March at the earliest.
Airbus’s chief executive is confident the huge plane will be a huge success “The commercial success of the A380 is not just great, it is amazing. Never in the past has an aircraft, which has not yet flown, enlisted 13 customers and 139 orders,” he said.
Singapore Airlines is due to become the first carrier to operate the A380 next year. Airbus’s latest creation will dwarf the largest airliner of its rival U.S. aircraft maker Boeing. But that comes at a price, total costs are estimated at 12 billion euros.
250 planes must be sold to break even. Thousands of workers were involved and it was a real European effort with parts built in various countries. They were assembled in Airbus’s headquarters in southern France, where EU leaders and thousands of guests are expected for the unveiling ceremony.