Airbus delivered its first A380 today to Singapore Airlines in a ceremony that marks the end of two years of delay for the superjumbo jet.
For Airbus, the occasion was one of celebration: the European manufacturer had managed finally to get all the troublesome wiring in the 525-seat, double-deck plane right.
Airbus chief operating officer John Leahy predicted the company would secure 30 new A380 orders by the year’s end.
Airbus has 165 firm orders for the plane now and 24 additonal commitments.
Singapore will fly the plane to home base today arriving Tuesday. The airline plans a charity flight to Sydney for Oct. 25-26. The seats on the flight were sold to the highest bidders on EBay. The proceeds go to charity.
There will be none of the pubs or spas that Airbus touted for the A380 when it first was selling them. Just too impractical for finance-driven airlines.
But Singapore will include a “beyond premium” class that will include private rooms with two windows and a separate leather chair and a lie-flat bed 76 inches long. Those accomodations will cost more than ordinary first class, reportedly about $2,000 more on a Singapore-Sydney flight. Here’s a look:
Let’s hope, for Airbus’ sake that the plane works better than the delivery Web site, www.a380delivery.com. I have yet to get the site to show the actual delivery ceremonies. Lots of backgrounds on the A380, but no delivery videos. To put it kindly, the site is “navigationally challenged.”