Airbus A380 Arrives in Singapore

In blog on October 17, 2007 at 10:00 pm

A new chapter in Singapore’s aviation history has been written, with the arrival at Changi Airport Terminal 3 of the world’s first superjumbo bought by Singapore Airlines.

The Airbus A380 touched down at approximately 6.40pm (Singapore time) on Wednesday after a 12-hour flight from Toulouse, France.

Some 400 guests, including Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, were on hand to welcome the A380 which was brought home to land by SIA’s Chief Pilot, Captain Robert Ting.

Speaking at the welcome ceremony, Prime Minister Lee said SIA’s success is a triumph of the ingenuity, hard work and spirit of its people. It is also a source of pride for all Singaporeans and a symbol of the nation’s relentless drive for excellence.

But being a top airline alone is not enough, said the Prime Minister, it also needs good airport infrastructure to complete the travel experience. “In this regard, the launch of the A380 is a milestone not just for SIA, but also for Changi Airport. Changi is the first airport in the world to handle commercial A380 operations.”

Changi’s preparedness, said Mr Lee, will stand it in good stead as a key international air hub and strengthen Singapore’s position as a gateway to the Asia Pacific.

SIA has purchased 19 Airbus A380 planes in all and five are expected to be delivered next year. The double-decked aircraft offers greater efficiency, lower fuel emissions and less noise compared to existing long-haul jets.

The new A380 planes are expected to replace SIA’s fleet of 14 Boeing 747 jets, which will be phased out in three to four years.

The superjumbo will be flying to Sydney on 25 October on a charity flight, which has raised some S$1.9 million through an auction of the seats onboard.

SIA will then use the A380 to operate a daily service between Singapore and Sydney. Come next year, A380 planes will also be used to launch a daily service to London.

A big welcome party, that took almost 18 months to organise, was laid out for the arrival of A380 at Changi Airport Terminal 3, a S$1.75 billion facility that will open its doors to the public only in January next year.

The 380,000-square metre terminal is seven storeys high and located directly opposite Terminal 2.

Its main feature is a unique roof architecture which allows natural light into the building. There is also a five-storey vertical garden called the ‘Green Wall’ which spans 300 metres.

Terminal 3 will have some 100 retail, food and beverage outlets, and service concessions.

It will handle 22 million passengers annually, bringing Changi Airport’s total annual passenger handling capacity to about 70 million.

– CNA/sf/so

Source : CNA

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