British Airways has announced it has ordered twelve Airbus A-380 aircraft with an option on seven more of the super-jumbo European planes.
It will also purchase 24 Boeing 787’s. The total deal is worth some six billion euros and is the British company’s biggest aircraft order since 1998. It’s the first time it has chosen to purchase Airbus long-haul planes.
The double-decker Airbus A380 has a maximum seating capacity of 853 passengers, though most airlines plan to use configurations of fewer than 650. This is still a substantial jump from Boeing’s Jumbo which currently flies with a maximum of 351 seats.
The Airbus A380 is the biggest airliner in production. Its Rolls Royce engines and wings are manufactured in Britain.
Union sources say the BA order for the Airbus will secure many thousands of British jobs.
The Airbus super-jumbo will fly on routes from London to Hong Kong, Singapore, South Africa and the west coast of the US.
Industry sources say Airbus has scored a major victory in selling the super-jumbo to BA. They say BA probably received significant discounts as Airbus and Boeing battle for high-profile orders.