Aussie businessman places top bid for seats on first A380 flight: SIA

Aussie businessman places top bid for seats on first A380 flight: SIA

Singapore: An Australian businessman placed the biggest bid of $100,380 for seats on the first commercial flight of the super jumbo Airbus A380 plane, Singapore Airlines said Thursday.

Sydney businessman Julian Hayward paid that amount for a pair of one-way Suites tickets -- the most luxurous class segment -- to be on the inaugural flight on October 25 that will depart Singapore for Sydney, the carrier said.

He was among the group of successful bidders who paid almost $1.32 million for seats on the first commercial flight of the world’s biggest passenger plane, said SIA.

The proceeds raised from the auction, which took place on the eBay online marketplace, will go towards charity organisations, SIA has said.

“Its been so long since we’ve had an aeronautical feat of engineering... I’m extremely excited to have the opportunity to be the first ever passenger on such a large feat of engineering," said Hayward.

Hayward and the partner who will join him on the flight will also be flown by SIA to the headquarters of Airbus in Toulouse to witness the carrier taking delivery of the A380 next month.

SIA said 638 seats have been sold for the two legs of the inaugural commercial flight with only 24 seats still up for grabs and bidding for the remaining seats closes at the end of this week.

The lowest bid was $560 for a one-way economy class seat from Sydney to Singapore on the return leg on October 26, the carrier said.

SIA is set to be the first commercial airline to fly the double-decker A380, the world’s biggest passenger plane, when it launches the flight on October 25.

The aircraft will return to Singapore the day after its inaugural flight.

“The auction has provided many aviation enthusiasts around the world with the opportunity to bid to be a part of history," said SIA chief executive Chew Choon Seng.

“Now we look forward to the delivery of this magnificent aircraft and introducing it into commercial service," he said.

SIA has said previously the proceeds will be divided equally between a Singapore charity, two childrens’ hospitals in Sydney and the international relief agency Medecins Sans Frontieres.

SIA has committed to buy 19 A380s despite a series of delays that pushed back delivery from early last year.