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What will A380 bring to China Southern Airlines?

(People's Daily)

08:59, November 02, 2011

Edited and translated by People's Daily Online

Beijing, Nov.2 (PD Online) --An Airbus A380 with the flight number CZ3000 took off at the Beijing Capital International Airport at 10 a.m. on Oct. 17, making China Southern Airlines the first Chinese airline — and the seventh worldwide — to operate the super jumbo jet.

World's largest commercial aircraft

The A380 is the world's largest commercial aircraft and first aircraft operated by a Chinese airline featuring a luxurious first-class cabin, with thoughtful design and comfortable services.

Tickets for the A380's 26 scheduled flights from Oct. 17 to Oct. 29 have almost been sold out. China Southern Airlines said that among all the aircraft it operates, the A380 is most sought-after and has the highest passenger load factor. Furthermore, the tickets for the A380’s first-class seats are sold out faster than the tickets for economy-class seats.

Better reputation and greater market share

Each A380 costs up to 250 million U.S. dollars, not to mention its high operating and maintenance costs. If the occupancy is not satisfactory, the super jumbo jet may cause China Southern Airlines to suffer "super" losses.

Airbus said that generally speaking, an A380 can generate profits as long as the passenger load factor is higher than 65 percent, and the three cabins are fully used.

Regarding this issue, the Board Chairman of the China Southern Airlines Si Xianmin said that the profitability of the A380 plane is connected with the passenger load factor and also the flight course, network arrangement, ticket price strategy and some other factors.

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