The team behind ambitious plans to operate Airbus A380s as flying cruiseliners has delayed the program’s launch while it considers the effect of political upheaval in the Middle East on demand for the service. It is also still trying to select an operator for the service and has indicated that it might also order the new A350-1000 XWB long-range airliner.
Economic pressure on airlines has led Airbus to work with them along with caterers and galley suppliers to develop what it has dubbed space-innovative catering equipment (Spice). The airframer said Spice reduces weight, increases revenue space and improves cabin ergonomics, while also anticipating new food hygiene and recycling requirements.
In recent years on the international airshow circuit, the Airbus A380 super-large airliner has dominated static displays. But here in Dubai, the double-decker had to vie for visitors’ attention among some 140 aircraft of all sorts of shape, size, origin and purpose. There is something here for everyone, from freighters and fighters to the fanciest VIP jets.
Airbus CEO John Leahy confirmed at the Paris Air Show that the company has the first firm commitment for its giant A380 airliner for conversion to an executive/VIP role. Leahy declined, however, to reveal the name of the buyer, saying only that he was not American or European and the airplane would be for his personal use.
Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Airbus have taken advantage of the A380 very large airliner’s presence here to introduce the operator’s senior personnel and flightcrew to the behemoth. Five pilots and four other flight-operations personnel were on board the Rolls-Royce Trent 900-powered A380 on Tuesday and were able to check its handling. Seen here at their “workstations” are flight-operations senior vice-president Capt.