Thursday, July 05, 2007

GA in a BIG, big way...or, Not your father's Private Plane

We knew it was coming, now it's official, according to Aviation International News on Thursday:

Airbus Confirms First Buyer for Executive/VIP A380
Airbus CEO John Leahy confirmed at the Paris Air Show that the company has the first firm commitment for its giant A380 airliner for conversion to an executive/VIP role. Leahy declined, however, to reveal the name of the buyer, saying only that he was not American or European and the airplane would be for his personal use. While the first customer remains anonymous, at least for now, New York’s Edese Doret Industrial Design has presented an interior proposal (in the form of computer-generated images) to a Middle East customer. As the world’s largest airliner, the A380 comes with approximately 6,800 sq ft of cabin space and a price tag of about $300 million for the unfinished airplane. Independent completion and refurbishment executives estimate the additional cost of building and installing a highly personalized interior will add another $150 million or more to the price.

And $450 million is just the beginning...don't forget (ahem, cough, gasp) insurance, fuel, crew (flight and cabin) hangar rent (not your typical T or even corporate hangar) airport fees and ATC costs in Europe...and Canada...and the UK...then there's catering food and drink, and someone to clean all 6,800 square feet...

Maybe time to start a flying maid service...

Guess if you can afford $450 million, well, the care-and-feeding expenses won't be as hard to cover.

Now, if the owner's ever in our neighborhood, we'd love to hitch a ride...when it's ready a few years from now.


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