First Japanese airline to operate the A380
Skymark Airlines, Japan’s third largest and fast growing airline, signed a contract for four A380s with Airbus, firming up a Memorandum of Understanding announced in November 2010.
The contract was signed on Thursday, 17th February, during a ceremony held at Airbus' headquarters in Toulouse, France, in the presence of Skymark Airlines President, Shinichi Nishikubo, Airbus President and CEO, Tom Enders, and Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers, John Leahy, together with Airbus Japan CEO, Stephane Ginoux.
At the signing ceremony Shinichi Nishikubo said, “We believe that the A380, the world’s most cost-efficient, modern and environmentally friendly aircraft with cutting-edge technologies, will provide us with a strong competitive advantage and safe operation. We will become the very first Japanese airline to offer our passengers a unique and new experience of flying – more space, more comfort and a quieter cabin. With the four-engined A380, we are free from ETOPS constraints and can provide flexible operations.”
“We are pleased to welcome Skymark as our newest and first Japanese A380 customer,” said Tom Enders, Airbus President and CEO. “The A380 is the most eco-efficient solution to allow Japan's air traffic to grow in a capacity constrained environment.”
The A380 is the most advanced, spacious and eco-efficient airliner in service today. Over ten million passengers have already enjoyed the unique experience of flying on board the all-new aircraft. The in-service fleet has accumulated by now almost 250,000 revenue flight hours in nearly 28,000 commercial flights. 20 major airports are currently served by the flagship of the 21st century.
Today, Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, and Air France operate the aircraft on daily services to Narita Airport. Starting from March 27, 2011, Singapore Airlines will extend its A380 operation from Narita to Los Angeles, while Korean Air’s first A380 service to Narita is scheduled on June 1 this year.
Following today's announcement, total firm orders for the A380 stand at 244 from 19 customers worldwide and 43 aircraft have been delivered to five customers.
For highlights from the contract signing event, visit the Airbus video gallery.
Video and soundbites with Tom Enders, John Leahy and Shinichi Nishikubo are available on www.airbus.com/broadcastroom.