Of all the things that can disable a $300 million plane – a broken catering truck has to be one of the more embarrassing.
Sadly, this is the fate of Emirates A6-EDE, the seventeenth Airbus A380, delivered to the airline in April of 2009.
During a routine catering delivery at Toronto airport, the scissor lift on the truck broke, smashing the truck body onto the wing of the jet.
The plane has been taken out of service while repairs are made to the damaged wing. No passengers were on the aircraft at the time and the exact extent of the damage has not yet been determined, but repairs are estimated to take several weeks. For more photos of the incident, head on over to Cargolaw.com.
Thankfully for Emirates, they have another 89 Airbus A380’s in operation or on order.
Dubai based Emirates just placed a whopping $11.5 billion order for 32 Airbus A380’s. This is in addition to the ten they currently own and the 48 they still have on order – which instantly makes them the largest customer of the super jumbo. Once all their orders are delivered, Emirates will operate a fleet of 90 A380’s – worth about $30 billion.
This news comes hot off the heels of the news that Airbus delivered their 30th A380 – and are well on their way to turning the plane into a huge success.
The order was placed at the Berlin Air Show where Emirates CEO Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum signed the paperwork – $11.5 billion in paperwork.
The massive order is not only good for Emirates and Airbus – it is also a sign that the trouble aviation world may be well on its way to a full recovery.
The Airbus A380 launch got off to a very rocky start – delayed deliveries and a sagging economy made this mega-jumbo look pretty bleak for some time. Thankfully, Airbus seems to have found the right rhythm, because they are now on target to deliver 20 of them in 2010.
On Thursday, the European aviation consortium delivered its 30th A380 to Dubai based Emirates, making it the tenth A380 in their fleet. At $346 million each – this is no cheap plane, but that has not stopped airlines ordering 202 of them.
Despite all the fanfare over which airplane builder is better – the A380 is an amazing plane, and one that is quickly on its way to becoming a common sight at airports around the world.
Earlier this week, Lufthansa Airlines took delivery of their first Airbus A380. With room for 388 passengers in coach, 98 in business class and 8 in first class, this is one massive plane. For the passengers in coach, the experience is nothing too special – with a 3-4-3 layout, there are a huge number of “middle seats”, but at least each seat has its own personal video screen.
The new plane has been named “Frankfurt Am Main” and will enter scheduled service on June 11th when it starts flying passengers between Frankfurt and Tokyo. By fall 2010, Lufthansa will have four Airbus A380’s in their fleet.
In the gallery below, you’ll see for yourself just how massive this plane is – the first class bathroom alone is larger than some puddle jumpers I’ve been on.
Fancy a trip on the world’s largest jet? Air France is about to start flying the Airbus A380 from London Heathrow to Paris Charles De Gaulle – making them the only airline to use the plane on a short haul route.
Normally, the A380 is used on long hail international routes, making it tough to experience the plane “on the cheap”, but the Summer A380 London-Paris flights cost just £80 (or £280 for business class) putting the trips well in reach of any budget.
The A380 flights will operate one round trip each day starting on June 12th until Monday August 30th. To book a ticket or to learn more about this amazing plane, head on over to the Air France A380 site.
Sadly, the chances of any of the US carriers buying an A380 are rather slim – most US carriers don’t even have enough cash to provide blankets or water – let alone invest $317 million in a massive plane.