Berlin Air Show Takes Off with Record 'Superjumbo' Order

Emirates orders 32 Airbus A380 Superjumbos

The 100th edition of the Berlin Air Show took off with a roar on June 8 as Dubai-based airline Emirates snapped up 32 Airbus A380 superjumbos, hailed as the largest order ever for commercial aircraft.

In the year's first order for the massive A380 plane, Emirates shelled out $11.5 billion, providing a much-needed boost to Airbus and a headline-grabbing start to the Show.

"It's the largest order ever placed for civil aircraft by dollar value based on catalogue prices in aviation history," said a delighted John Leahy, chief commercial officer at Airbus.

Airbus also announced that TAM Airlines of Brazil had ordered 20 A320 planes and five of its new long-haul A350-900 aircraft, with the deal worth around $2.9 billion at catalogue prices.

Running until June 13, the Berlin Air Show (ILA) was set to attract about 1,150 exhibitors from nearly 50 countries presenting all manner of planes, helicopters, rotors, motors and other technology to around 200,000 visitors.

The ILA this year was opened by Chancellor Angela Merkel who hailed the special role played by the aviation industry in Germany's economy. "Aviation is, as it has always been, an area of the economy that pushes forward the development of technology in general," she said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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