Europe’s biggest and best
The A380 superjumbo, made by European company Airbus, was revealed at a lavish ceremony in the southwestern city of Toulouse last week. Here’s how the mammoth double-decker measures up – it’s 15 metres wider, four metres taller, two metres longer and 118 tonnes heavier than the Boeing 747 jumbo, which reigned as the largest airliner for four decades. Looking like a 747 jumbo, the upper deck stretches back to the tail and is as long as eight London buses with enough room on its massive wings to park 70 cars. It can seat 555 passengers in first class, business and economy cabins or 853 all-economy class passengers. It has 16 passenger doors and escape slides on both decks, with the upper slides standing at eight metres high, the cocktail bars, billiard rooms, showers, libraries and sleeping quarters for staff are tucked away under the floorboards. Its wingspan of 79.8 metres (261ft 10in) means the A380 is too large for most airport docking bays, however, UK airport operator BAA Plc has budgeted 450 million pounds sterling to build larger facilities to handle the planes. Airports gearing up for the planes include London’s Heathrow, New York’s John F Kennedy International, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore and Frankfurt. France, Britain, Germany and Spain all invested in the 10-year, 10 billion euro programme and see it as a high-flying symbol of the result of European co-operation. With carbon fibre components and fuel-efficient technology the cost per passenger should be up to 20 per cent less than on a 747, raising the possibility of cheaper tickets.
It’s like Piccadilly Circus
The number of easyJet passengers using Faro airport increased by 24.08 per cent in 2004, transporting 550,988 passengers. The growth was mainly due to the launch of the new route to London Gatwick, inaugurated in February 2004, and to the addition of another flight to London Luton. With a total of 46 weekly flights, easyJet flies to Bristol, Nottingham East Midlands, London Luton, Stansted and Gatwick from Faro.