The world’s largest passenger plane, the Airbus A380, has landed safely in Toulouse, France after making its first test flight. Immediately after the landing, Chirac hailed the “total success of the first test flight of the Airbus A380.” In a statement from his office, Chirac said “a new page of aeronautical history has been written. … It is a magnificent result for European industrial cooperation and an encouragement to pursue this path of building a Europe of innovation and progress.” The European Union’s industry commissioner, Guenter Verheugen, said the flight was a European “success story.””This ‘Super-Airbus’ proves that cooperation with the EU pays off,” he said.
EADS has confirmed a further delay to the delivery of its giant flagship A380 super-jumbo of about a year. The Airbus parent firm will only be delivering one A380 aircraft in 2007, having previously promised nine. Emirates, which has the biggest order of A380 airliners, will see its first delivery arrive 10 months late, and says it is now reviewing its options. Total delays are now two years late, leading EADS to see operating losses of 2.8bn euros ($3.56bn) up to 2010.
Oscar Wilde: “One must have a heart of stone to read [this] without laughing.”