The first superjumbo takes wing to China
(10.15.2011)

The first superjumbo takes wing to China

An Airbus 380 aircraft on the runway is seen poised for takeoff at the Airbus Delivery Center in Toulouse, France, yesterday after China Southern Airlines took delivery of the country's first A380. The superjumbo will arrive in Beijing today. The Guangzhou based carrier, the world's seventh operator of A380s, will initially operate the aircraft on domestic routes between Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou. Later, the airline will deploy the double-deck plane on international routes that the carrier has yet to announce. China Southern, the largest carrier in Asia by fleet size, has ordered another four A380s. The next jet is currently undergoing cabin refurbishment.

China Southern Airlines yesterday took delivery of the country's first Airbus 380 at the Airbus headquarters in France and will fly the superjumbo on the Beijing-Guangzhou route on Monday in its first test run.
 
The Guangzhou-based carrier will be the world's seventh operator of the double-deck plane. It will initially operate the aircraft on domestic routes between Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou. Later the airline will deploy the A380 on international routes the carrier has yet to announce.
 
China Southern, the largest carrier in Asia by fleet size and passenger turnover, has ordered another four A380s. The next jet is currently undergoing cabin refurbishment.
 
Si Xianmin, the airline's chairman, said: "The A380 will be the perfect asset to make China Southern Airlines achieve its goal of becoming a leading global carrier."
 
The jet, dubbed the world's biggest passenger aircraft, is as tall as a seven-story building. Each wing is big enough to park 70 cars.
 
It is capable of carrying 853 passengers in an all-economy class configuration, compared with the 400 generally carried by the Boeing 747.
 
However, China Southern has opted for a three-class configuration with a capacity of 506 - eight luxury suites, 70 business class seats and 428 economy class seats.
 
The suites, enclosed by sliding doors, are fitted with a leather-upholstered seat, a table, a 58-centimeter flat-screen TV and laptop connections. A versatile lighting system helps to create various environments.
 
The main cabins can include bars, beauty salons, duty-free shops and restaurants.