Airbus wheels out A380 super-jumbo from hangar

11th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

BLAGNAC, France, Jan 10 (AFP) - The A380 super-jumbo passenger jet, due to be officially unveiled next week, was Monday wheeled out of its hangar in southwestern France for the first time.

BLAGNAC, France, Jan 10 (AFP) - The A380 super-jumbo passenger jet, due to be officially unveiled next week, was Monday wheeled out of its hangar in southwestern France for the first time.

The white prototype, one of four that will make test flights later this year, will remain in the open for 48 hours before returning inside the hangar at Blagnac near the city of Toulouse, informed sources said.

The plane, designed by the European consortium Airbus, will be officially unveiled on January 18 at Blagnac about two months before its maiden flight, Airbus executives have said.

The A380 is set to break a 30-year monopoly that US aircraft maker Boeing has held in the market for big passenger airplanes with its 747 jumbo. French President Jacques Chirac, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso were expected to attend the unveiling.

Representatives of all airlines that have ordered the A380, which is set to become the world's biggest commercial airliner, carrying up more than 550 passengers, were also on the guest list.

Airbus is 80-percent owned by the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company, and the rest of aircraft maker's capital is owned by British defence contractor BAE Systems.

Airbus and Boeing are currently locked in a bitter dispute. Boeing contends that Airbus benefits from government subsidies that violate international trade rules.

The European Union for its part maintains that Boeing has received illegal subsidies in the form of major contracts from US defense and space agencies.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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