Singapore International Airlines (SIA) will start flying its Airbus A380 to New Delhi and Mumbai from 30 May, making it the first to fly the world's largest commercial aircraft into India after the government lifted a ban on landing the aircraft here.
Beginning 39 May, the A380 super-jumbo will operate the two daily SIA flights from Mumbai and New Delhi currently being served by Boeing 777s.
''The Airbus 380 super-jumbo will operate daily to both Mumbai and New Delhi with effect from May 30, 2014, taking over from two daily flights that currently serve each city using Boeing 777s. Another daily flight will continue to be operated with B777s. In total, 14 flights will serve each city per week,'' said a statement from the airline.
While SIA's Boeing 777 offers over 330 seats in a three-class configuration, the A380 has a total seat capacity of 471 passengers in a three class configuration - 12 first class, 60 business class and 399 economy class seats.
''We have been keen to operate the Airbus A380 to India and are glad that the Air Services Agreement between Singapore and India now allows us to do so,'' Singapore Airlines senior vice-president for marketing planning Lee Wen Fen said in a statement.
''Customers from India will be able to enjoy the complete A380 experience aboard Singapore Airlines from Delhi and Mumbai to our onward A380 destinations including Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Melbourne, New York, Paris, Shanghai, Tokyo Narita and Zurich,'' said David Lau, General Manager-India for Singapore Airlines.
Singapore Airlines currently operates 19 A380s and will have five more A380s that are likely to be delivered from 2017.
In January this year, the civil aviation ministry allowed operation of Airbus 380 from Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore airports.
The restrictions were imposed in 2008, as the government then felt these ultra long-haul jets would help foreign airlines to take away a large chunk of global traffic.
No Indian carrier has the A380 in its fleet. Air India had opposed any move to allow foreign carriers to fly in Airbus 380s.