Airbus has delivered the first A380 to China Southern Airlines. During a very special celebration ceremony today at the Airbus Delivery Centre in Toulouse, France, the first out of five aircraft ordered was handed over from Airbus President and CEO, Tom Enders to China Southern Airlines Chairman, Si Xianmin.
China Southern Airlines becomes the first operator of the world's most eco-efficient aircraft in China and the 7th globally. Powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines, the aircraft will be initially operated on domestic routes between the major Chinese cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Later on, the airline will deploy the A380 on international routes.
At the ceremony, China Southern Airlines unveiled its spacious and comfortable A380 cabin, featuring a total of 506 seats in a typical three class configuration, including eight luxury first-class suites, 70 lie-flat business-class seats and 428 economy-class seats. Passengers’ well–being will be enhanced through innovative mood lighting including several different lighting scenarios to create a relaxing atmosphere and environment. The state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment system makes it easy for passengers to select from a wide variety of audio and video programs and make their long-haul A380 trip something to remember. The cabin also offers seats and lavatories that are easily accessible to disabled passengers.
"We are proud to become the first A380 operator in China,” said Si Xianmin, Chairman of China Southern Airlines. “The introduction of the A380 in our fleet is a very important step for the development of China Southern. This most spacious and modern aircraft enables us, to offer our passengers world-standard comfort on our flights. The economics offered by the A380 will undoubtedly improve our competitiveness on international routes and is the perfect asset to make China Southern Airlines achieve its goal of becoming a leading global carrier.”
"We offer China Southern Airlines our warmest welcome as the newest operator of the A380," said Tom Enders, President and CEO of Airbus. "The A380 has set new standards in comfort, economic efficiency and environmental performance. With the A380, China Southern Airlines will surely play a key role in the top league of the world's leading airlines."
Since entering service in 2007 the eco-efficient A380 has exceeded all expectations, flying more people further at lower cost (some 16 million passengers up to date). The spacious, the quieter cabin and the smooth ride have made the aircraft a favourite with passengers. This has resulted in higher than average load factors and increased profitability on A380 flights, providing airlines with a key competitive advantage wherever they operate the type. Typically seating 525 passengers in a three class layout, the A380 is capable of flying 8,300 nautical miles or 15,300 kilometres.
For additional information, photos and video clips from today’s delivery see a380delivery.com/china-southern