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Old January 20th, 2005, 06:47 AM   #221
huaiwei
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Business Times - 19 Jan 2005

Heralding new age of mass travel

World's biggest passenger aircraft will fly further and cost less to operate

By VEN SREENIVASAN
IN TOULOUSE, FRANCE

THE world's largest passenger aircraft was unveiled at Toulouse before leaders of four European nations, the chief executives of the customer airlines, scores of invited guests and over 800 members of the global media.

At the elaborate 'A380 Reveal' ceremony at Jean-Luc Lagadere Final Assembly Line at Toulouse yesterday, President Jacques Chirac of France, Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain, Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder of Germany and Jose Luis Zapatero of Spain - the four countries which led the project - hailed the completion of the A380 as a testament to European cooperation and technological excellence.

Meanwhile at a press conference held an hour before the unveiling, chief executives of the 14 customers which together had placed orders for 149 of these 555-seat aircraft, painted their vision of how the giant plane would help their companies achieve greater success and market strength.

The plane which was presented yesterday was a test plane. But after another 12 months of rigorous testing for every conceivable 'bug', the first plane will be delivered next year to Singapore Airlines, making it the first commercial user of the huge bird.

Singapore Airlines placed its US$8.6 billion order for 25 planes, of which 10 are on firm order, in September 2000, just one of 14 airlines around the world which have placed firm orders for the giant plane. Airbus' other customers include Emirates (45 planes), Lufthansa (15 planes), Air France (10 planes), Federal Express (10 planes) and International Lease Finance Corp (10 planes).

SIA chief executive Chew Choon Seng confirmed that the first four planes which SIA will take delivery of next year will be put on the London-Singapore and Singapore-Sydney routes. He added that SIA was also eyeing the Sydney-Los Angeles route, when it becomes available. (Australia has yet to grant SIA access to the route).

'We were not the first to place the order for the plane,' Mr Chew said at the press conference yesterday. 'But we were the swing customer whose order enabled Airbus to go ahead with the project in December 2000.'

Mr Chew added that SIA decided to place its order after Airbus assured it that the plane would meet three key criteria: seat 25 per cent more passengers than the existing competition while boasting the same or better range; offer up to 15 per cent increase in operating cost savings; and meet key environmental criteria in fuel efficiency and noise reduction.

Indeed, this is a plane which carries 35 per cent more passengers than the Boeing 747-400, flies 10 per cent further and costs up to 15 per cent less to use.

But customer airline chief executives said one of the key advantages of the A380 - which can seat over 800 passengers in a single class configuration - is the ability it gives airlines to fly more passengers to crowded airports (like London Heathrow) where gaining lot availability is a big problem.

Mr Chew said that SIA would decide on exercising its option for the remaining 15 planes within the next two years. Meanwhile, it is gradually phasing out its fleet of 27 B747-400 planes.

The airline is also busy working on configuring the interior for its first planes, using global interior design consultants like James Park and Bluebay. It will unveil its interior for its first planes within the next couple of months. Mr Chew said that in order to enhance comfort and provide more space, SIA's A380 planes will have less than 480 seats.

But others have even bigger ideas for their planes. Virgin Atlantic's Richard Branson plans to add gymnasiums, bars, casinos and even double beds side by side.

'Along with the casino, our passengers will have two ways of getting lucky,' he quipped cheekily. Virgin is buying six planes.

Meanwhile, Thai International's Narongsak Sangapong sees the A380 boosting Bangkok's new Suvarnabumi airport's status as a regional air hub.

'We will have five of the 120 gates catering exclusively for the A380,' he said. 'And we will also have the world's biggest hangar, capable of housing three A380s at a time.'

Whatever the differences in vision, everyone gathered at Toulouse yesterday seemed to agree on one thing: the A380 heralds a new age of mass travel.

Copyright © 2004 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old January 20th, 2005, 06:51 AM   #222
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So a comment about cutting capacity in Hong Kong with no substantiation but masked under the excuse humour is relevant to the discussion about potential weight problems when using the A380? How do you logically tie the two concepts together for the comment to make sense? So are moderators allowed to get out of point without consequence?

Now I've asked that same question mote than 3 times by now
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Old January 20th, 2005, 06:56 AM   #223
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline
So a comment about cutting capacity in Hong Kong with no substantiation but masked under the excuse humour is relevant to the discussion about potential weight problems when using the A380? How do you logically tie the two concepts together for the comment to make sense? So are moderators allowed to get out of point without consequence?

Now I've asked that same question mote than 3 times by now
No substance? No dear. A joke has greater impact and humour without having to be explained. If I have to actually explain to you what it is, then is it my fault that you cant see the humour?

In fact, I have already posted the stuff whereby my joke was based on. I suppose you still cant see the link. Too bad, and yeah, I seriously dont care how many times you are going to ask. Why? Coz unlike you, I dont call myself efficient. I dont claim that I can talk saliently. I dont fly the Atlantic, spend time in a city, and come back with a one-liner answer after repeated questionings.

So, ask away!
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Old January 20th, 2005, 07:03 AM   #224
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So there is no explanation, which means there is no substance.

Anyway, back to the weight issue. Not only do overweight airplanes pose a safety risk, as evidenced by the plane crash in Canada, it is also costing airlines a lot more money in fuel.

Obesity; U.S. CDC says obesity weighing down planes
27 November 2004
Obesity, Fitness & Wellness Week

Heavy suitcases aren't the only things weighing down airplanes and requiring them to burn more fuel, pushing up the cost of flights. A new government study reveals that airlines increasingly have to worry more about the weight of their passengers.

America's growing waistlines are hurting the bottom lines of airline companies as the extra pounds on passengers are causing a drag on planes. Heavier fliers have created heftier fuel costs, according to the government study.

Through the 1990s, the average weight of Americans increased by 10 pounds, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The extra weight caused airlines to spend $275 million to burn 350 million more gallons of fuel in 2000 just to carry the additional weight of passengers, the federal agency estimated in a recent issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine

"The obesity epidemic has unexpected consequences beyond direct health effects," said Deron Burton, MD, of the CDC. "Our goal was to highlight one area that had not been looked at before."

The extra fuel burned also had an environmental impact, as an estimated 3.8 million extra tons of carbon dioxide were released into the air, according to the study.

The agency said its calculations are rough estimates, issued to highlight previously undocumented consequences of the ongoing obesity epidemic.

The estimates were calculated by determining how much fuel the 10 extra pounds of weight per passenger represented in Department of Transportation airline statistics, Burton said.

Obesity is a life-or-death struggle in the United States, the underlying cause of 400,000 deaths in 2000, a 33% jump from 1990. If current trends persist, it will become the nation's No. 1 cause of preventable death, the CDC said earlier this year.

More than half, 56%, of U.S. adults were overweight or obese in the early 1990s, according to a CDC survey. That rose to 65% in a similar survey done from 1999 to 2002.

Although the Air Transport Association of America has not yet validated the CDC data, spokesman Jack Evans said the health agency's appraisal "does not sound out of the realm of reality."

With most airlines reporting losses blamed partly on record-high fuel costs, everything on an airplane is now a weighty issue. Airlines are doing everything they can to lighten the load on all aircraft, from wide-body jets to turboprops.

Bulky magazines have gone out the door. Metal forks and spoons have been replaced with plastic. Large carry-on luggage is being scrutinized and even heavy materials that used to make up airplane seats are being replaced with plastic and other lightweight materials.

"We're dealing in a world of small numbers, even though it has a very incremental impact" to reduce a 60- to 120-ton aircraft's weight by bumping off a few magazines, Evans said. "When you consider airlines are flying millions of miles, it adds up over time."

Although passenger bulk has been an issue in the past-Dallas-based Southwest Airlines requires large people to buy a second seat for passenger safety and comfort-Evans says it's not likely airlines will scrutinize how much passengers weigh in the future. Instead, they are trying to do a better job of estimating passenger weight when figuring out how much fuel they need for a flight.

Seattle-based Alaska Airlines now calculates the weight of children on flights, instead of using adult-weight formulas for all passengers, Evans said.

"Just like we don't control the costs of our fuel, we don't control the weights of our passengers," he said. "Passengers gain weight, but airlines are the ones that go on a diet. It's part of the conundrum we face right now."
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Old January 20th, 2005, 07:06 AM   #225
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline
So there is no explanation, which means there is no substance.
If I remember you saying this line before:

"just because you cant see, dosent mean its not there."

Used to great effect over here now, dont you think?
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Old January 20th, 2005, 07:08 AM   #226
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Well the rest of the world cannot see how an unrelated joke made its way in here, but as long as you can see it then it'll be all right?
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Old January 20th, 2005, 07:08 AM   #227
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline
Well the rest of the world cannot see how an unrelated joke made its way in here, but as long as you can see it then it'll be all right?
Haha...do you represent the world?
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Old January 20th, 2005, 07:29 AM   #228
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Logic is consistent throughout the world.

Airbus shows European co-operation can work but demand is the problem
HAMISH MCRAE
20 January 2005
The Independent

THE AIRBUS super-jumbo is a great technical triumph - and an even greater commercial gamble, for we simply cannot know what the final market size will be. From a business perspective, it could hardly turn out to be a catastrophe like Concorde, but then it will not be a sure-fire success like the Boeing 737 either.

But there is another story here, a wider one about European competitiveness. Airbus is a European conglomeration. Not only is the plane built all over Europe but the company is multinational too. Unusually for such ventures, it has been commercially successful up to now, displacing Boeing as the world"s largest commercial aircraft manufacturer. As such it has done a world of good for the airline industry. Even airlines that end up buying Boeings are delighted to have Airbus around, for it enables them to negotiate down the price of the planes.

So it has demonstrated that for all the guff about Europe"s lack of competitiveness, the way manufacturing will leave for low-wage parts of the world, and the economic challenge from China and India, the fact remains that there are only two places in the world that can build large commercial jets. One is the US, the other is Europe.

This raises two further issues. One is whether the European economy is structured appropriately to take advantage of its undoubted excellence in high-end manufacturing. The other is whether being good in this segment of the world economy is enough.

The President of France, Jacques Chirac, raised the first of these at the launch of the A380, suggesting that Airbus could be a model for further European commercial integration. It is an important idea as well as being a politically seductive one, and needs to be taken seriously. There are other areas - stock exchanges, perhaps? - where it would be natural for there to be greater cross-border co-operation. But in practice most of the key commercial links forged over the past decade have been between European corporations and US ones, rather than happening within Europe. The oil and pharmaceutical industries are good examples of this, while the extremely successful venture between Renault and Nissan shows that a Japanese partner can bring strength to a union. Would Renault have done better had it used its financial resources and management to rescue Fiat instead of Nissan? Surely not; better to leave that one for a more gullible General Motors.

To take two other examples, when BMW looked to expand it turned to Britain and Rover. While it has extracted itself in OK shape, still owning the Mini, the experience was not a happy one. When Daimler-Benz looked to expand, it turned to Chrysler in the US, and while that too has been a bumpy experience, on a medium-term view it looks more likely to be successful.

So the experience of integration within Europe is not particularly happy; it may be that Airbus is an exception, rather than a model. But President Chirac is right to highlight its success.

The "is it enough?" question is easier, for the answer must surely be a clear "no". It comes hard to acknowledge but manufacturing in general and high-end manufacturing in particular is not a big business. For all its glamour and for its impact on the way we live now, the commercial aircraft business is quite modest in size.

Take, for simplicity, the company making the engines for half the A380s, Rolls-Royce - though as an aside, it was notable that Air France chose the alternative American engines, made jointly by GE and Pratt & Whitney. The engines account for between one-third and half the value of a civil aircraft.

Now look at the size of the company. It is doing well and its value has come up to £4.4bn, which is comparable to the £4.0bn of Associated Newspapers, the Daily Mail group. There are only three companies in the world making large jet engines - actually more like two and a half as Pratt & Whitney has been losing market share - but there are an awful lot of newspaper groups. Top-end manufacturing is important but it is not nearly enough to sustain an economy.

This paradox is evident if you look more generally at the European economy. There are many areas where European companies, particularly German ones, do lead the world. But they do not between them generate enough jobs to employ Europe"s workers, unemployment remains high and consumption growth low.

The first graph shows the latest consensus estimates for growth in the G7 economies that came out yesterday from Reuters. Surprise, surprise, the two countries that exemplify manufacturing excellence, Germany and Japan, are bottom of the growth league. The next graph shows how dependent the eurozone economy is on exports. The Purchasing Managers" Index reports give an early feel for the overall level of activity in manufacturing. As you can see, there is a very close relationship between that and the index for export demand. When exports do well, European manufacturing does well, and vice-versa.

Some countries, however, are more dependent than others. The next graph shows the divergence of retail sales in Germany and France, the former falling and the latter rising. The French economy is not doing too badly because there is some domestic growth, whereas Germany, for all its brilliance as an exporter, is stymied because its people won"t hit the shops. Yes, Germany is creating some net new jobs (final graph), but not enough to stop unemployment rising to the 4.5 million mark.

It is worse that that. Goldman Sachs, which pulled together these graphs on Europe, points out that many of the new jobs are low-wage ones, offered under various job-creating schemes. The high-wage ones in manufacturing are increasingly either being exported to Eastern Europe, or the terms changed so that workers work longer hours.

AMN-AMRO has looked at what is happening to wage negotiations in German industry. Some 55 per cent of industrial companies have increasing hours as part of their wage strategy, and 33 per cent are in negotiation for longer hours without extra pay.

On the one hand this is good news for German companies, for they are clawing back their competitiveness against other developed countries. But having to work longer for the same amount of money is not conducive to creating a more ebullient workforce, eager to spend.

And that surely is the central issue. Europe"s problem is not that it lacks centres of excellence, for it has huge competence in many areas, including top-end manufacturing. It has done very well - the UK has done very well - in maintaining as much manufacturing as it has. There may well be scope for further pan-European co-operation, and though that works only if it is commercially led, at least governments have a role in removing road-blocks.

No, the key point is that Europe"s problem is a lack of demand. The supply side is gradually being reformed: German companies, which have the highest labour costs, are attacking those more successfully than has been appreciated. But it is very hard for an economy to grow swiftly if consumers are too frightened to spend more in the shops. And if you want to be unkind to our European political leaders, you would say they should not be claiming for themselves some element of the success of Airbus, which really has very little to do with politics. Instead they should be paying more attention to the things that are within their control, such as the efficiency of the public sector and quality of the regulatory and tax regimes of Europe.
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Old January 20th, 2005, 07:38 AM   #229
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Hey both of u don't have u the feeling that you hijacked the thread with your mud'in the face !!

i don't know what's the rivalry between you and what is the reason behind it, but we don't have to be spectators of your hatry or whatever when we come here to hear about airbus !!
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Old January 20th, 2005, 07:46 AM   #230
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline
Logic is consistent throughout the world.
Is it? Anyway, you dont define the world's logic.
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Old January 20th, 2005, 07:46 AM   #231
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Here are some unveiling photos :













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Old January 20th, 2005, 07:48 AM   #232
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kony
Hey both of u don't have u the feeling that you hijacked the thread with your mud'in the face !!

i don't know what's the rivalry between you and what is the reason behind it, but we don't have to be spectators of your hatry or whatever when we come here to hear about airbus !!
Whoops!

Anyway, I am kinda wondering why he has been tacitly critical of the A380 plane all these while. Maybe things will change when CX finally orders one of them, but till then, we in Singapore are holding our breaths in anticipation of the first A380 to arrive at Changi Airport a year later!
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Old January 20th, 2005, 07:50 AM   #233
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Kangaroo route first to host A380
January 18, 2005 - 6:16PM

Passengers flying the so-called Kangaroo route between Sydney and London will be the first to experience the new super jumbo A380 jet, Singapore Airlines says.

The aircraft will be operated by Singapore Airlines from mid next year when the airline becomes the first carrier in the world to fly the double decker long haul planes.

The Airbus A380 aircraft was being launched in Toulouse, France, in front of world leaders and global aviation executives, including Qantas Airways Ltd chief executive Geoff Dixon.

Singapore Airlines has ordered 10 of the aircraft, which cost about $US260 million each, while Qantas wants 12.

Singapore Airlines confirmed it will first use the aircraft on the Kangaroo route between London, Singapore and Sydney.

It hopes to eventually use the planes on routes from Australia to the US, if talks between the Australian and Singaporean governments next month about opening up Australian skies to the carrier are successfully concluded.

"Singapore Airlines is committed to the Australian market and we are delighted to be the first Airline to fly the A380 here, offering our Australian customers the first opportunity to experience a new era in flying," the airline's south west Pacific communications manager Samantha Stewart said.

The planes, which measure the length of eight public transport buses and have a wingspan of nearly 80 metres, are designed to carry 555 passengers but Singapore Airlines will offer passengers 500 seats in three classes.

Sydney Airport is planning to spend around $100 million upgrading the airport next year to make it A380 ready.

London's Heathrow has already budgeted STG450 million ($A1.11 billion) to prepare the airport for the planes.

The size of the jets requires wider than usual taxiways and double decker loading ramps.

© 2005 AAP
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Old January 20th, 2005, 07:51 AM   #234
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I don't think the articles I've posted are overbiased on the critical side. However, prudent people don't jump in quickly at the latest innovation without thought and analysis. After all, playing the waiting game can be fruitful in a negotiation. That's why Singapore lost a big breath when Cathay Pacific won rights to fly from New York to London.
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Old January 20th, 2005, 07:52 AM   #235
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FedEx to be the first to take delivery of A380-800F freighter
The Edge
Jan 19, 2005

FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp, will be the first to take delivery of the Airbus A380-800F freighter in August 2008 and the first to deploy the aircraft in service for its global customers, the company said yesterday.

FedEx Corp chairman Frederick W Smith said delivery of the first A380 cargo plane would be followed by two more by the end of 2008, three more in 2009, three in 2010 and the 10th in 2011.

FedEx also holds options for 10 additional aircraft. “The A380 will play a significant role in our ongoing efforts to expand our networks and broaden our range of services,” said Smith in a statement. He is also president and chief executive officer.

“With its ability to provide greater network capacity with lower direct operating costs, the A380 will facilitate even more global trade, and the ultimate beneficiaries will be our customers, and future customers, around the world,” he said.

During the first year of operation, the three FedEx planes will operate on long-range routes between FedEx hubs in Asia and North America. Additional routes from Europe to North America and Europe to Asia will be added as more aircraft are added to the fleet.

The A380 is capable of flying more than 150 tonnes within 1,100 cubic metres, and provides significantly lower direct operating costs than today’s largest flying aircraft.

The A380 freighter, which has a range of about 6,000 nautical miles (11,100km), will have tonne/mile costs that are expected to be about 15% to 20% lower than FedEx's largest aircraft McDonnell Douglas MD-11.
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Old January 20th, 2005, 09:23 AM   #236
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline
I don't think the articles I've posted are overbiased on the critical side. However, prudent people don't jump in quickly at the latest innovation without thought and analysis. After all, playing the waiting game can be fruitful in a negotiation. That's why Singapore lost a big breath when Cathay Pacific won rights to fly from New York to London.
Oh is it? I leave that up to personal perceptions.

Meanwhile, Singapore Airlines, world reknown for being one of the most demanding customers who conducts extensive evaluation before commiting to aircraft purchases, gets to enjoy global publicity when it commences the world's first scheduled flight via the A380. That SIA's purchase was the key turning point behind Airbus's A380 program leading to its fruitation (it got the priviledge of flying the first plane despiten not being the first customer. for a reason of coz), and that purchase was one of the most important confidence-building events for the program. Afteral, almost every other major airline in the world looks at SIA's purchasing choices with keen ernesty, and it does influence their purchasing choices.

Indeed, that is just a brief discussion on the relevance of Singapore Airlines to the development of this new bird, something hardly worthy to be dismissed as being a result of a decision made without "thought and analysis."

And talking about that, how does playing the waiting game have any relation to the awarding of air traffic rights? CX being granted limited flights out of Heathrow seems more in relation to their requests for more rights out of HK to the Australian market, and in addition, CX isnt really expected to be a major threat to existing domination of that flight sector by existing carriers anyway. Compare that, to the "rioting" going on everytime SIA asks for similar rights, be it out of Heathrow, or out of Sydney to the US. They dont really care how long SIA has been demanding for those rights, do they?
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Old January 20th, 2005, 10:32 AM   #237
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^WEll, it does seem that you hate Hong Kong very much for some unknown reason. Why would that be?
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Old January 20th, 2005, 10:42 AM   #238
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bs_lover_boy
^WEll, it does seem that you hate Hong Kong very much for some unknown reason. Why would that be?
Hate Hong Kong? What for?

There is quite a difference between Hong Kong the city and hkskyline the creature, isnt it?

Anyway, why bring this up over here?
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Old January 20th, 2005, 10:53 AM   #239
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Thats the meanest plane. I saw a massive documentary about it last night.
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Old January 20th, 2005, 11:09 AM   #240
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I wonder what Emirates has up its sleeve for it's A380 First Class seating. This is a great plane but I wish it was a little longer. I can't complain but they did a great job on the looks. I hope this plane is very successful as well as the 7E7.
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