An Airbus A380 superjumbo will fly to China at the end of November for route proving in order to get its final certification, the company said Monday.
The double-decker will fly to Guangzhou, Beijing and Shanghai, Airbus China President Laurence Barron told the China International Aviation & Aerospace Forum 2006.
The forum is part of a high-profile air show held in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, which kicked off yesterday and runs until November 5.
But Barron said the A380 would only be a test aircraft without a commercial cabin interior and would not be shown to the general public.
He confirmed that China Southern Airlines, the only Chinese customer for the 550-seat jet, would not be able to serve the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games with the A380 due to its delayed delivery. Barron declined to reveal when the Guangzhou-based carrier would receive its first A380.
"There may be airlines that would probably serve the route to Beijing with an A380," Barron said.
China Southern ordered five A380s last year. It was expected to receive the first at the end of next year and the second in 2008.
Earlier this month, Airbus announced a further delay to the A380. Singapore Airlines, the first customer to fly the jet, will receive its first A380 in October next year, 10 months behind schedule. The European aircraft maker has slashed its delivery targets to 13 in 2008 and 25 in 2009. The A380 has received 159 orders from 16 customers.
Barron said Airbus would sign a joint venture agreement today with China Aviation Industry Corp II and China Aviation Industry Corp I regarding details of the work package of the Airbus (Beijing) Engineering Centre.
The centre, inaugurated last summer, is expected to design A350 parts to be manufactured in China. It is Airbus' second-largest engineering centre outside Europe after one in the United States.
China International Aviation & Aerospace Forum 2006: 2006中国国际航空航天高级论坛
kick off : 开始
route proving : 航线认证
delayed delivery: 推迟交付