European aircraft manufacturer Airbus recently delivered the first of five A380s ordered by China Southern Airlines. The airline became the first in China and the seventh in the world to take delivery of the model.
During a special ceremony, control of the aircraft was handed from Airbus CEO and President Tom Enders to CSA Chairman Si Xianmin.
It has been reported the aircraft, powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines, will be initially operated on domestic routes between major Chinese cities like Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. Later, the airline will deploy the A380 on international routes.
The introduction of the A380 in our fleet is a very important step for the development of China Southern. The economics offered by the A380 will undoubtedly improve our competitiveness on international routes and is the perfect asset to make China Southern Airlines achieve its goal of becoming a leading global carrier, Si Xianmin said during the event.
The A380 features a total of 506 seats in a typical three-class configuration, including eight luxury first-class suites, 70 lie-flat business-class seats and 428 economy-class seats.
The A380 has set new standards in comfort, economic efficiency, and environmental performance. With the A380, China Southern Airlines will surely play a key role in the top league of the world's leading airlines, Tom Enders said.
The aircraft features a state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment system that makes it easy for passengers select from a wide variety of audio and video programs. In addition, its cabin features seats and lavatories that are easily accessible to disabled passengers.