New factory for A380 jet
French President Jacques Chirac recently inaugurated a new factory in southern France for the Airbus A380 superjumbo jeta building big enough to hold 20 soccer fields, reported The Washington Post. The hall in Blagnac, outside Toulouse, France, will be completed next year. Parts for the 555-seat jet are to be manufactured at various Airbus sites around Europe and will be transported by land and sea to the Blagnac assembly hall.
Chirac called the jet a "technical, industrial, ecological and commercial challenge."
Aimed at dislodging the Boeing 747 as the dominant jumbo jet, the A380 is a prestige project in the European airplane maker's long-running battle with Boeing. Airbus, a European consortium headquartered in Toulouse, says the airplane with two wide-body decks will make its first flight in early 2005 and enter service in 2006.
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