A380 makes maiden Middle East flight

The world's biggest passenger jet, the Airbus A380 super jumbo, made its maiden flight to the Middle East early on Saturday in Dubai, a day before the opening of a major aviation show in the emirate.

    A380 will be a familiar sight in Dubai's skies from 2007

    A white A380, bearing a belly logo of the national carrier Emirates and the flag of the United Arab Emirates on its tail, was seen flying over coastal landmarks including the luxurious sail-shaped Burj Al-Arab hotel.


    An Emirates statement said the A380 massive jet was "set to become a familiar sight in Dubai's skies from 2007, when Emirates will begin to receive the first" of its 45 A380s on order.


    "Airbus ... and Emirates, the world's largest customer for the aircraft, have teamed up to bring" the massive aircraft for the Dubai Air Show exhibition opening on Sunday, it said.


    It said the Emirates A380s have been ordered in three configurations: A long-range three-class 489-seater, a medium-range three-class 517-seater and a medium-range two-class 644-seater.


    "Emirates' A380Fs will be three-deck freighters with a 150-tonne (330,000 pounds) capacity and a range of 10,400kms," it said.

    The A380 has just completed a maiden regional tour to Singapore, Australia and Malaysia, where Singapore Airlines, Qantas and MAS are among its key launch customers.


    So far, Airbus has received more than 150 orders for the A380, with options for another 100. It counts among its other customers Qatar Airways, Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways, China Southern Airlines and Thai Airways. 



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