Emirates Airbus A380 taken out of service by a catering truck

emirates A380Of 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 places $11.5 billion Airbus A380 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.

Airbus A380 production finally getting up to speed – 30th plane delivered

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.

Lufthansa takes delivery of its first Airbus A380 super jumbo

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.

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The half a Billion Dollar flying palace – Rolls Royce not included

Holy crap. That is about the only response I have to this Airbus A380 being developed for Saudi prince al-Waleed bin Talal. Of course, the prince has not officially announced that this will indeed be his new home on the road, but enough news has been pieced together to link him to the purchase.

Not only is this the first Airbus A380 sold to a private owner, it is the most expensive private plane ever put together. For comparison – one of the most popular large private planes in the world is the Boeing Business Jet, which starts at “just” $42 Million.

Seriously, someone obviously sat down with some crayons, and decided to design the most insane, over-the-top plane they could. This thing has it all – starting with the special cylindrical elevator that comes out of the bottom of the plane. His Chauffeurs can then drive his Rolls Royce up the ramp on the rear, and park it in his on-board garage.

Relaxation comes from a steam room, Turkish bath, concert hall (with a baby grand piano) or in one of the five private quarters, complete with king size beds. Less fortunate guests will have to spend the night in one of the 20 “normal” first class sleeper suites.

When his Royal Highness needs to get some work done, he can take the elevator up to his boardroom and play with the touch screen TV’s or the holographic projection system.

And finally in the lineup of ludicrous additions – get this – the well being room has a floor made from a giant screen, showing what the plane is flying over.

Total price? About $488 Million Dollars.

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