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First A380 to carry passengers takes off
[September 05, 2006]

First A380 to carry passengers takes off

(UPI Business News Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) The first Airbus A380 super-jumbo jet to carry passengers departed Monday from southern France with 474 Airbus staff filling the seats.

The Toulouse-based company said the passengers are testing the plane's toilets, televisions and other on-board services, the BBC reported.

The flight is the first of four planned seven-hour voyages carrying Airbus employees to test all attributes of flying on the huge plane, which is set to enter commercial use in December with 159 aircraft being delivered to 16 airlines.

These four test flights with real passengers will give us human feedback on life on board this plane which can do distances of up to 15,000 kilometers (9,300 miles), said chief test pilot Jacques Rosay.

A total 1,900 Airbus employees were chosen to test the planes from 15,000 applicants around the world.

The delivery of the first A380s for commercial use was delayed for six months by a wiring problem confirmed by the company in June. The discovery led to the resignation of former chief executive Gustav Humbert.

Copyright 2006 United Press International

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