PICTURE: Vertical fin installed on first China Southern A380

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China Southern Airlines' first Airbus A380 has had its vertical fin installed, two weeks after the all-composite component was delivered to the final assembly line in Toulouse.

Airbus says the fin takes around eight hours to fit at the assembly line point known as 'Station 40', where several primary sections of the A380, such as its wings, are mated.

China Southern is scheduled to take its first A380 next year. The carrier has five of the aircraft on order, which will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines.

 china southern a380
 © Airbus

The fin arrived in early September, transported from Hamburg by one of Airbus' A300-600ST freighters.

Airbus has delivered 13 A380s so far this year: five to Emirates, three each to Lufthansa and Air France, and one apiece to Singapore Airlines and Qantas.

 china southern a380 fin
 © Airbus