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US buyers sought for A380: Airbus executive

US buyers sought for A380: Airbus executive
AFP
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First Published: Tue, Mar 27 2007. 04 55 AM IST
Updated: Tue, Mar 27 2007. 04 55 AM IST
Dulles Airport, Virginia: European aircraft maker Airbus is seeking orders for its new A380 superjumbo from US airlines that run long haul flights to Asia, a top Airbus executive said on 26 March.
Airbus has no US customers yet for its plane, the largest passenger jet in the world.
However Allan McArtor, the chairman of Airbus North America, is optimistic that United Airlines or Northwest Airlines might be persuaded to place orders for the jet, which can be configured to carry up to 845 passengers.
“We consider United and Northwest to be the logical carriers between the US and the Pacific Rim,” McArtor told AFP following a demonstration to reporters of the A380’s in-flight capabilities here.
McArtor said Delta Airlines, which partners with Air France, does not appear to be interested in purchasing either the A380 or rival Boeing’s 747 jet.
Airbus has flown its A380 to the US for a series of high profile marketing trips in the past week, including a stopover near the US capital Monday.
McArtor said executives from United and Northwest flew on the aircraft Monday, but that “there was nothing firm yet” regarding possible orders.
Singapore Airlines will be the first carrier to take delivery of one of the vast Airbus jets in October.
Initially scheduled for delivery in 2006, a series of production setbacks including problems with the plane’s wiring, have delayed the A380’s readiness.
Airbus, which had hoped the A380 would outsell Boeing’s 747, has 166 firm and tentative orders for its jet from 15 buyers.
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First Published: Tue, Mar 27 2007. 04 55 AM IST
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