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Airbus delivers long-delayed A380

  • Story Highlights
  • Singapore Airlines takes delivery of first Airbus A380, the world's largest airliner
  • First scheduled service begins Oct. 28 between Singapore and Sydney
  • Delivery comes nearly two years late; Emirates, Qantas still waiting for planes
  • Singapore chief executive Chew says plane marks a "new chapter" for aviation
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TOULOUSE, France (CNN) -- Singapore Airlines on Monday became the first customer to take delivery the Airbus A380, the world's largest passenger jet, in what the airline's chief executive called "a dream come true."

Singapore Airlines says the A380 will set a "new standard for luxury and comfort."

"This delivery really marks the beginning of a new chapter for the aviation industry," chief executive Chew Choon Seng said at a presentation ceremony at Airbus headquarters in Toulouse, France.

The double-decker plane can carry up to 550 passengers, but the roomy design for Singapore Airlines seats 471.

Singapore's jet includes a first class with 12 enclosed "suites," each containing a seat and full-size mattress. Business class has four seats across, each reclining to become fully flat for sleeping. Economy features greater legroom, larger video screens, and a PC power outlet at each seat.

Chew said the plane sets a "new standard for luxury and comfort" in a commercial aircraft.

The A380 is expected to take off for Singapore on Tuesday. The airline says the first scheduled service begins Oct. 28 between Singapore and Sydney.

"The A380 is unquestionably the defining aircraft of its generation," said Airbus chief executive Tom Enders, "and the airlines operating it will be in a class of their own."

Other airlines awaiting delivery of the plane include Emirates Airlines and Qantas.

While nearly two years late, delivery of the A380 comes as Airbus rival Boeing announced a six-month delay in delivery of its premier plane, the 787 Dreamliner. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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