First flight of superjumbo to India takes off

First flight of superjumbo to India takes off

First flight of superjumbo to India takes off

An Airbus A-380 of the Singapore Airlines (SIA) today took off from here for Delhi, marking the maiden flight of the superjumbo to India.

Another A-380 would take off two hours later for Mumbai, as part of SIA's plans to launch daily flights of this large fully double-decker airliner that can carry 471 passengers in a three-class configuration.

The Southeast Asian carrier became the first global airline to launch the operations of the superjumbo to India, after the government lifted restrictions on the flights of the 'big bird' this January.

Major Gulf carrier Emirates would become the second airline to deploy these Airbus A-380s from Mumbai in July.

The SIA's aircraft has a total seating capacity of 471 seats with 399 in economy, 60 in business class and 12 First Class suites.

"The A-380 has received an overwhelming response from the Indian travelers. This reiterates our belief in the Indian market and their aspirations to travel the world which has been the key factor for Singapore Airlines' growth story in India," SIA general manager David Lau said at the launch of the superjumbo operations to India.

Of the 6,000 seats per week allowed in the bilateral air services agreement between India and the Southeast Asian city- state, SIA is estimated to use about 5,800 from Delhi and Mumbai, he said.

SIA had earlier this month announced the deployment of A-380 on the Singapore-Delhi and Singapore-Mumbai routes, replacing the Boeing 777-300 Extended Range aircraft from this month. 

The airline has also offered special fares for premium seats and bonuses on frequent flyer miles to mark the launch of the A-380 flights in the country.

As part of the launch offer, members of the PPS Club - SIA's frequent flyer club for premium passengers, would get a 10 per cent discount on the 'Suites' ticket on the Airbus A380. 'Suites' is SIA's first class product on the A-380 which offers a full bed in addition to other luxury amenities.

Singapore Airlines currently operates 49 weekly flights to India from six cities -- New Delhi, Mumbai , Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Chennai and Bengalore.

It was the first airline in the world to operate the A-380 in October 2007 between Singapore and Sydney. The superjumbo now also serves Frankfurt and Hong Kong.

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