An historic Airbus achievement occurred on October 15, 2007 with the first delivery of an A380 – which was received by Singapore Airlines. During a colourful ceremony at Airbus’ Toulouse, France delivery centre, Singapore Airlines unveiled its new interior for the double-deck aircraft, using a cabin layout featuring 471 seats in three classes – including individual suites for premium passengers. Singapore Airlines inaugurated A380 revenue service on 25 October, 2007, operating the Rolls-Royce Trent 900-powered aircraft on its Singapore-Sydney route.
The carrier also received Airbus’ next three A380s, followed by the initial aircraft for Emirates, which was presented at the Hamburg, Germany delivery centre on 28 July, 2008. This was the first A380 delivered with Engine Alliance GP7200 powerplants, and Emirates used a 489-passenger configuration for its aircraft – composed of 14 first class suites, 76 business class seats and 399 in economy – along with innovative ceiling mood lighting throughout the cabin.
Qantas became the third airline to receive the A380, with its no.1 aircraft provided on 19 September 2008. Equipped with Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines, Qantas configured its aircraft in an extra spacious 450-seat arrangement, accommodating 14 passengers in first, 72 in business, 32 in premium economy and 332 in economy.
With the worldwide A380 fleet crossing the globe on routes to Asia, the Middle East, Europe and North America, the jetliner quickly became a passenger favourite, and was confirmed as the quietest aircraft in the skies – both in terms of external noise levels and the internal passenger cabin environment.