Airbus confirms tentative Skymark deal for four A380s

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Airbus has confirmed a tentative agreement by Japanese carrier Skymark Airlines to acquire four A380 aircraft.

Skymark has not identified an engine choice for the type, but recently said it hoped to take delivery in 2014.

It would become the first Japanese airline to order the A380 if it firms the agreement early next year, as planned.

No details have emerged on the proposed cabin layout but Airbus says the jets would be operated on long-haul routes from Tokyo.

"With the A380's spacious and extremely quiet cabin, we'll enter a new era in terms of economic air travel," says Skymark president Shinichi Nishikubo.

Skymark operates a fleet of Boeing 737-800 aircraft on domestic routes from Tokyo Haneda.

Airbus describes the decision by the carrier to opt for the A380 as a "breakthrough in this important market".