The world’s biggest jumbo jet has completing its first commercial flight. The Airbus A380 flew from Singapore to Sydney. On board were 455 passengers, some of whom had paid tens of thousands of euros in an online charity auction for seats on the historic flight.
Take off was two years late after wiring problems caused major delays in the giant plane’s launch and delivery, but the passengers were content. One said: “I am very excited. I’ve been flying about 40 years and my first flight was on the DC-6, 54 passengers and now 500 – a huge difference. So, I wish for the best.” Another said: “It’s the first flight on the biggest passenger plane in the world, so we are very happy to be a part of it.”
Passengers had paid up to 70,000 euros in the charity auction for their seats on the seven hour flight from Singapore to Sydney. Normally a one way economy class fare is 460 euros, business class is 1,984 euros, and for one of the dozen first class luxury suites equipped with a double bed, a ticket costs 2,850 euros.
The wiring problems that caused the two year delivery delays for the first of the double decker aircraft pushed Airbus into crisis and a major restructuring including 10,000 job cuts.
The question now for the plane maker is can it
produce enough of them fast enough? It has promised to deliver 13 planes next year, 25 in 2009, and 45 in 2010.