One of the key milestones in the Airbus A380 programme will take place tomorrow, 18th January. The world?s first full-length twin-deck aircraft will be officially revealed to the world for the first time at a ceremony to be held in the Jean-Luc Lagardere Final Assembly Line hall at Toulouse, France.
The President of the French Republic, Jacques Chirac, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Tony Blair, the Federal Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Gerhard Schroeder, and the Prime Minister of the Spanish Kingdom, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero will preside over the reveal ceremony. More than 4,500 guests will attend, including the CEOs of the 14 A380 customers, as well as eminent representatives from the airline community, the Airbus shareholders, suppliers and other stakeholders, as well as the media.
Tomorrow?s reveal will underpin the successful progress of the A380 programme. It is also a reflection of Airbus? position as the market leader of the civil aviation industry. As part of the official unveiling, a live show will feature Airbus? vision, philosophy and global values which, over 35 years, have made its success as well as this new challenge possible. At the heart of this is Airbus' dedication to listening to its customers and turn their wishes into reality through a continuous flow of innovations and a ceaseless quest for quality, efficiency and maturity of its products.
The A380 reveal will also mark the launch of Airbus? new livery. The change in livery, the first since the A310, further materialises the entry of Airbus into a new era. The A380 is the first aircraft to display the company?s new colours that reflect not only Airbus? current market position but also its ambitions to pursue aviation excellence long into the future. The new design embodies beautifully the Airbus brand values of creative flair, technological prowess, relationship building and team spirit.
The 555-seat A380 passenger aircraft has a range of up to 8,000nm/15,000km, allowing it to fly non-stop between Europe and Asia, while the three-deck long-range freighter version, the A380F, will be able to carry up to 152 tonnes/335,000 lbs of cargo on standard pallets over distances of up to 5,600 nm./10,400 km. Incorporating the most advanced technologies available in this decade, it will be the most fuel efficient and environmentally friendly airliner ever built, while offering unequalled levels of passenger comfort and cargo carrying capability. First passenger operations are scheduled to begin in 2006 when the A380 is due to enter service. In addition, the first A380F, the freighter version of the aircraft, is expected to begin operations in 2008.
The Reveal of the A380 is being streamed live on the Airbus website www.airbus.com which will also include other up-to-the-minute coverage of the day?s events.
Airbus is an EADS joint Company with BAE Systems.