China Southern Airlines set to join A380 club

China Southern Airlines is set to take delivery of its first Airbus A380 aircraft as it prepares to begin operations of the world’s largest passenger jet.

The plane took to the skies for the start of a final phase of flight and ground tests earlier.

The tests are being carried out from Airbus’ facilities in Hamburg, where the aircraft has undergone painting and full cabin furnishing.

During the upcoming programme of flights, all cabin systems will be thoroughly tested, including air flow and air conditioning, lighting, galleys, lavatories, seats and in-flight entertainment.

In parallel, Airbus will also undertake advanced general performance tests with the aircraft before it flies to Toulouse for preparation for delivery to the airline.

China Southern Airlines will become the seventh operator of the A380 when it begins flying the aircraft later this year.

The aircraft is configured with 506 seats in a three-class lay-out with eight first, 70 business and 428 economy class seats.

Altogether, China Southern Airlines has placed firm orders for five A380s.