Air India mulling purchase of A380 super jumbos

New Delhi: Air India could become the second airline in India to fly the world's largest passenger aircraft, the Airbus A380, with industry sources saying that the airline was in talks with the Toulouse, France-based manufacturer, Airbus SAS, for eight of these super-jumbos. If the Indian flag carrier should confirm orders, deliveries could likely begin by 2012.

The A-380 costs around $320 million, or Rs1,293 crore, at list prices. In an all-economy class configuration the aircraft can potentially fly around 850 passengers on long haul routes.

The only Indian order for these aircraft, so far, has been made by Kingfisher Airlines, which has ordered five of these giant birds for likely operations on the Mumbai- London and Bangalore-San Francisco routes, starting 2011.

The Bangalore-based full service carrier is yet to firm up orders on another five options, however.

Reports suggest that Airbus has confirmed that talks were on with Air India for the A380s.