Big Airbus

TOULOUSE, France, Oct 15, 2007 (AFP) – Airbus was to make the first delivery of its A380 superjumbo jet on Monday to Singapore Airlines, with elation and relief expected at a ceremony in southern France to mark the occasion. The heads of both companies were expected to hail a major advance in air travel as the A380, the world’s biggest passenger plane, finally leaves the company’s factory in Toulouse after a difficult birth.

Delivery of the doubledecker plane is 18 months later than scheduled because of a series of production problems that have embarrassed Airbus and hit the plane maker’s reputation among the world’s airlines.

The handover is therefore a symbolic moment for Airbus as the group attempts to put its problems behind it, while Singapore Airlines will at last be able to implement its vision for the plane.

Monday will be the first time the group has unveiled how the interior of the the A380 will look, with the industry curious to find out which features have been incorporated in the cabin.

The 73-metre-long (239-feet) two-storey giant can carry a maximum of 853 people in an all-economy set-up (525 in the normal three-class configuration) and has 50 percent more floor space than the next biggest a