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Airbus announces A380 with party.

AIRLINE INDUSTRY INFORMATION-(C)1997-2005 M2 COMMUNICATIONS LTD

European aircraft manufacturer Airbus revealed its double-decker A380 jumbo jet at a party on 18 January.

The new aircraft will be able to carry as many as 800 passengers and is expected to become the new flagship of the company. The development of the model is a gamble on the prediction that airlines will need bigger aircraft to transport more passengers and about USD13bn is being invested in the development.

The aircraft has an estimated price of USD280m each. According to the schedule test flights should start on 31 March this year, while commercial use is not expected until next year. Industry experts have reportedly suggested that Boeing would need a decade to develop an aircraft to compete with the A380, which means that Airbus will dominate the market if the aircraft model is successful. Airbus has so far taken 149 orders or commitments for the model from 14 airlines, according to media reports. These orders include 43 aircraft for Emirates, including two cargo aircraft; ten cargo aircraft each for Federal Express and UPS; 15 aircraft for Lufthansa and 12 for Qantas.

Boeing's vision is however on smaller, long-range aircraft such as its 7E7 Dreamliner, which allows for longer direct flights. The 7E7 is scheduled for commercial use in 2008.

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Publication:Airline Industry Information
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:4EUFR
Date:Jan 19, 2005
Words:230
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