A380 hits first turbulence

For once the iconic Burj Al Arab hotel had competition on the Dubai skyline as the Airbus A380 took to the skies (pictured) as part of the Dubai Airshow. Flying low along Dubai’s beachfront in full Emirates livery, the type apparently received spontaneous applause from onlookers. And reports suggest the A380 literally stole the show, receiving huge amounts of interest from visitors.

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But despite all the fanfare and ticker tape, Airbus may not be having it all its own way in the large airliner market. The Dubai Airshow has now come and gone with no further orders, and Boeing has finally responded to the A380 with its stretched version of the 747, and further delivery slippages are being announced by launch customers of the Airbus super-jumbo.

Air France is the latest to revise its A380 delivery schedule. It has put off delivery of its first two A380s to coincide with the peak tourist season in summer 2008. Originally it was going to take its first A380s in November 2006. That postponement is on top of an original delay by Airbus of six months. Air France has said it is discussing compensation with the manufacturer. Virgin Atlantic and Singapore Airlines are also reviewing delivery schedules.

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