Kingdom chief orders first A380 Flying Palace

HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, Chairman of Kingdom Holding company, recently signed a firm order with Airbus for an A380 Flying Palace, becoming the first customer for the VIP version of the new double-deck airliner.The A380 will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines. It will undergo cabin outfitting at a yet to be chosen completion centre.

“Prince Alwaleed’s order means that Airbus’ sales success in the corporate jet market now extends from its smallest aircraft, the A318 Elite, all the way up to its largest, the A380 Flying Palace,” said Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers, John Leahy. “It also complements our strong VIP A330/A340 sales.”

The Airbus’ A380 is the world’s newest airliner, and entered service last month with Singapore Airlines.

Featuring a wider fuselage than today’s largest aircraft plus around 50% more floorspace (551 m2/5,930 ft2), the Airbus A380 has also been designed to use existing runways - taking off and landing in less distance.

Sales of the Airbus Corporate Jetliner Family, comprising the A318 Elite, ACJ and A320 Prestige, recently passed the 100 order milestone, highlighting their increasing appeal to corporate, individual and government customers. In addition, more than 40 Airbus widebodies are in widespread VIP and government service.