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Paris Air Show

A380 superjumbo damaged, grounded at Le Bourguet

Jun 20, 2011

Airbus' appearance at the Paris Air Show has been blighted by misfortune, with two key planes damaged.

The wing tip of its demonstration A380 superjumbo struck a building at Le Bourguet airport venue during taxiing.

Gearbox problems have stopped its A400M military transporter from performing a scheduled aerial display, although it will still take part in a fly-past.

It left Boeing able to steal the limelight on the first day of the show with its new, lengthened 747-8 jumbo.

The US rival also claimed one of the first confirmed deals of the show: an order for six 777 planes worth $1.7bn (£1.1bn) from Qatar Airways.


Despite its bad luck at the opening, Airbus is expected to put in a strong showing at this year's show with a string of orders expected for its new low-emission A320neo plane.

The medium-haul 150-seater planes are a redesign of the traditional A320 that cuts emissions by 15%, reducing clients' carbon footprints and their fuel bills.

The European firm has already received demand for 330 of the eco-planes from airlines including Virgin American, IndiGo and Tam, as well as from the plane leasing firm ILFC.

However, the $16bn 180-plane order from IndiGo, which is the biggest single order by far, is still stuck in negotiations.

Airbus signed deals for a further 100 planes last week, with budget carriers Cebu of the Philippines and GoAir of India.

Another 200 planes are expected to be ordered by Malaysia's AirAsia, with the related plane engine order said to be going to the French-American firm CFM.

And Scandinavian airline SAS is expected to follow suit, with plans to buy 30 A320neos worth $2.4bn, with engines from CFM.

A380 superjumbo damaged, grounded at Le Bourguet
Wingtip of Airbus' 80m-span A380 plane struck a building at Le Bourget airport / BBC/Reuters

Source: BBC

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