Thu 25 Oct 2007 – The Airbus A380 entered commercial service today, with its first flight – Singapore Airline’s SQ380 – from Singapore to Sydney, Australia.
The majority of the 471 seats on the outward and return legs of this seven-and-a-half hour flight were sold on eBay, the global online marketplace, with all proceeds donated to charities. The auction raised around S$1.9 million (US$1.3m), all of which will be split three ways, between Singapore and Sydney charities, and the global humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières.
The A380 will commence scheduled service between Singapore and Sydney on one of the three daily flights in each direction from Sunday 28 October.
The delivery of subsequent aircraft will allow for the introduction of the A380, also on one of the three daily flights, between Singapore and London’s Heathrow Airport from the first quarter of 2008.
Airbus claims the aircraft burns 17% less fuel per seat than its closest competitor, the Boeing 747, and produces only 75g of CO2 per passenger and per km, almost half the target set, it says, by the European Union for cars manufactured in 2008. This has been achieved by incorporating more new material than any other airliner, says the European aerospace manufacturer, with composite and other lightweight materials accounting for more than 25% of its structure, and by innovations in the state-of-the-art high bypass engines fitted to the aircraft that contribute to “unprecedented” fuel burn reduction.
The engines - customers have the option of either the Rolls-Royce Trent 900 or the Engine Alliance GP7200 - have been designed to not only meet the current regulatory limits (ICAO-CAEP 4) with significant margins but to be already in line with the most stringent future regulatory limits (ICAO-CAEP 6) in terms of NOx emissions, says Airbus.
Singapore’s A380 is powered by four Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines, each generating 72,000lbs of thrust, with a claimed fuel efficiency of less than three litres per passenger per 100 kilometres. “It’s the quietest and cleanest engine for the A380, with emissions levels well within the requirements of all current and future legislation,” said Sir John Rose, Rolls-Royce’s Chief Executive.
With regard to airport noise levels, Singapore Airlines’ spokeswoman Mabel Lee told GreenAir: “In the last forty years, the noise footprint of aircraft on take-off has dramatically reduced.
“In 1970, a Boeing 707 had a noise footprint at 90dB of 54.5 square miles. With the introduction of the Boeing 787 in 2008, that noise footprint at 90dB will reduce to an area confined to the airport perimeter, and will be less than 1 square mile.
“The Airbus A380 is a vast improvement in terms of noise footprint. It produces no greater noise than a truck at a distance of 7.5 metres, and this represents a 75% reduction in noise in that 40-year period.”