British Airways will buy 12 Airbus A380 aircraft as part of the airlines? long term fleet modernisation. The announcement marks the first time British Airways has selected to introduce Airbus aircraft for the company?s long haul fleet. The decision vindicates Airbus? product strategy. The A380 is a key part of the solution for sustainable growth and eco efficiency in air transportation. The aircraft will be powered by Rolls-Royce engines. ?The Airbus A380 will provide a great solution for our high density markets and get the most out of scarce London Heathrow slots. We said that environmental considerations would feature highly in our choice and our decision to buy these aircraft is consistent with this?, said Willie Walsh, British Airways Chief Executive. ?British Airways? decision is another breakthrough for our flagship Airbus A380. After an intensive year-long competitive evaluation British Airways? choice is proof our product is the right aircraft to tackle growth, airport capacity constraints as well as environmental concerns. We are delighted British Airways will be flying Airbus aircraft for the first time on their long haul routes?, said Tom Enders, Airbus CEO. Being greener, cleaner, quieter and smarter, the A380 is already setting new standards for transport and the environment. The aircraft is the most fuel efficient aircraft flying today. The combination of extra passenger capacity without increasing the number of flights, excellent environmental performance and lower operating costs is an ideal solution for the airports and the airlines that serve them. For passengers, the A380 offers wider, more comfortable seats in all classes and the quietest cabins in the sky. Its unique double-deck wide body architecture also gives airlines flexibility to economically offer improved comfort standards without reducing fleet capacity. To current standards for larger premium class products, the A380 can typically carry 525 passengers in three classes in unprecedented comfort on flights of over 8000 nm (15 000km). British Airways first became an Airbus operator in 1988, when it began flying A320s. The airline added the A319s to its fleet in 1999 and the A321 in 2004. British Airways currently operate a total of 68 A320 family aircraft. Airbus is an EADS company.