Airbus will deliver the very first A380 super jumbo airliner to Singapore Airlines on Monday 15 October, at a ceremony in Toulouse, France.
The new plane will have 471 seats in three classes; Economy, Business and 'Singapore Airlines Suites', far more luxurious than Singapore's present First Class.
Within a few days, it will fly to Singapore's Changi Airport, the world's first airport to be equipped for the A380. After a short period for crew and ground staff familiarisation, the Singapore Airlines A380 will make its first flight - SQ380 - to Sydney's Kingsford Smith airport on Thursday 25 October, and return to Singapore on Friday 26 October. (See: Singapore Airlines to launch A380 commercial flight in October)
Singapore Airlines chief executive officer Chew Choon Seng says it will mark the beginning of a new chapter for the aviation industry. "The first flight will be one of the most exciting occasions in aviation history," he promises.
Seats across all three classes will be auctioned on the online auction website 'eBay'. A large number of seats will be auctioned, and travellers keen to be part of history will have the opportunity to join the A380 first flight experience.
The auction of seats will commence on Monday 27 August 2007. Seats in all three classes will be sold, across both legs of the flight. The auction will be for single, double and multiple seats in each class.
All seats will be sold on a one-way basis, so people wanting to fly on both legs will need to bid twice. Bids will be staggered to finish at various times over a period of just over two weeks. The auction cycle will conclude on 10 September 2007.
For bids over $1,000 in Economy, as well as bids for the premium classes (Business and Suites), pre-qualification will be required to ensure that bids are not artificially inflated and give bidders confidence they are competing only against genuine, pre-qualified bidders.
Pre-qualification is initiated online. Singapore Airlines' global auction management agency, Auctionwire, has developed numerous ways for bidders to pre-qualify and lodge security deposits for bids requiring pre-qualification.
The entire proceeds of the auction will be donated to the following charities:
- One-third to Singapore's Community Chest
- One-third split between the Children's Hospital at Randwick and the Children's Hospital at Westmead, both in Sydney, Australia
- One-third to Médecins Sans Frontières, also known as Doctors Without Borders
For those who opt for the new Singapore Airlines Suites, it will be the first occasion to experience a product that totally redefines luxury in the sky. The plane will be inducted into scheduled services on the Sydney route soon after the first flight. Singapore Airlines will make an announcement about this in due course.