In Toulouse today to see Qantas take delivery of its first A380. Technically that doesn’t happen until tonight’s moonlit ceremony (they hope) which fits in well with the assorted Australians’ plans for getting back to their far-flung land. Far-flung from France anyway. But there’s a big lead-up programme.
Meanwhile it’s pretty grey here, but there are some bits of news around – and one fairly major bit.The usual press conference kicks off with (l-r) Airbus COO John Leahy, Airbus CEO Tom Enders, Qantas CEO Geoff Dixon, and Qantas CEO designate Alan Joyce.
And here is the news:
- Qantas is talking seriously to Airbus about quite a fewmore A380s on top of the 20 they’ve ordered, with a good chance of someA350s being involved too. An Australian chum suggests that somejiggery-pokery with undelivered narrowbodies for Qantas’ Jetstarsubsidiary may be involved. And an Airbus insider tells me that all ofthe four outstanding A380 options and 12 purchase rights are in play.That would make 36 A380s!
- No, Airbus is not worried about ILFC who, and I paraphrase here, have a creditline beyond anyone’s reasonable needs. (Just as well, as they are Airbus’ biggest customer.)
- The snag that kept the Emirates A380 on the ground for over a week was just one of those in-service things. Nobody’s much concerned.
- The second batch of A380s already ordered by Qantas will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trents. Like the first batch. (Yes, I realise this was reported in 2006, but I feel slightly sorry for Rolls who’ve obviously had a painful time trying to get their name into the proceedings somehow or other.)
Here’s one of the Trents in question. Rebranded as Pom Power for today. Fill in your own “whining” joke here.
And here’s VH-OQA herself, looking rather magnificent. VH-UGE would be a cool registration I think, but it’s already been taken by the owner of a single-Cessna with a sense of irony. But VH-IGH seems to be up for grabs.
Qantas has a nice new kangaroo for the fin (I’m going to have to take their word for that – apparently the leg is in a different position.)
And they’ve named the aircraft after Nancy Bird-Walton. Quite right too.