Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Airbus Superjumbo Bought For Private Use

An unnamed buyer at the Paris air show has placed an order for an Airbus A380 superjumbo to use as a private jet.

Airbus said the individual, "not from Europe or the US", would use the plane for "personal use for him and his entourage", AFP news agency reported.

The double-decker, which is thought to have cost $300m (£150m), has 900 sq m (10,000 sq ft) in cabin space and has room for up to 840 passengers.

It is expected to take more than a year to convert the jet for private use.

Aage Duenhaupt, a spokesperson for Lufthansa Technik, which turns large commercial planes into private jets, said the majority of clients were originally Middle Eastern.

But using the model as a private jet could be problematic, because its weight and size mean it can only be landed at a limited number of airports, by certain pilots.

Environmental groups were annoyed by the news.

Joss Garman, from Plane Stupid, said that buying a superjumbo for private use was like "buying a filthy coal-fired power station just to use to charge up your mobile phone."

The model is set to come into use later in 2007.

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