Airbus to extend A380 to accommodate 1,000 passengers


Berlin : Airbus SAS, the world’s largest plane maker, is considering an extended 1,000-passenger version of the A380 aircraft, Louis Gallois, chief executive of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), has said.

Support TwoCircles

Two airlines, Deutsche Lufthansa AG and Air France-KLM SA, were interested in the extended version of the A380, Gallois told the German newspaper Saechsische Zeitung in an interview to be published Friday.

EADS is the parent company of Airbus SAS.

The A380, the world’s largest commercial aircraft even in its current form, can carry 555 passengers. It entered service in October last year after a two-year delay that severely hit Airbus profits and forced a major restructuring of the company.

Gallois said Airbus had planned the extended version right from the start.

According to information received by DPA, a decision on building the huge aircraft is to be taken only in 2010.

Regarding production delays on the A380, Gallois expressed confidence that the current timetable could be adhered to.

At the end of July, Airbus chief executive Thomas Enders said the aircraft’s problems would be over only once series production was running smoothly at a considerably higher rate than the current one per month.

Gallois said Airbus would extend its plant at Dresden in the eastern German state of Saxony if it won a contract for tanker aircraft with the US Air Force that is currently under consideration.

The European aircraft maker is competing with Boeing Company for the contract which is worth billions of dollars.