Singapore Airlines on Monday announced that it will start operating the world’s largest passenger aircraft — Airbus A-380 — in India from May.
The A-380 jumbo will operate daily to both Mumbai and New Delhi with effect from May 30 taking over from two daily flights that currently serve each city using smaller Boeing 777s, Singapore Airlines said in a statement.
The government had in January lifted a five-year-old ban allowing airlines to operate the Airbus A-380 from four cities, including Bangalore. The ban was imposed in 2008 as government felt that foreign airlines would take away passenger load from Indian carriers.
“We have been keen to operate the Airbus A-380 to India and are glad that the Air Services Agreement between Singapore and India now allows us to do so.
“India is a particularly important market for Singapore Airlines and we are very pleased that more of our customers will soon be able to experience the spaciousness and comfort of the world's largest aircraft,” said Singapore Airlines' (SIA) Senior Vice President Marketing Planning Lee Wen Fen.
The statement said Singapore Airlines was the first airline in the world to operate the A-380 when it was put into service in October 2007 between Singapore and Sydney.
No Indian airline has booked for the double-decker, wide-body and long haul jets, which can accomodate around 850 passengers. Nine of the 10 international airlines that fly the A-380s have scheduled flights into India.
Kingfisher Airlines was the only Indian airline that ordered five A-380s but Airbus cancelled it last year after the debt-ridden carrier was grounded.
The Airbus has delivered 122 A-380s to 10 operators as on December 31 last year while it has a total order of 304. The ten operators include Malaysia Airlines International, Korean Air and Air France besides Singapore Airlines.