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World's largest passenger plane makes first commercial flight in Canada


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JUNE 2, 2009


A luxurious jumbo jet complete with shower spas, mini-bars and flat-screen televisions landed its first commercial flight in Canada on Monday.


The 489-seat Airbus A380 flew in to Toronto's Pearson International Airport from Dubai on Monday afternoon.


The two-level luxury aircraft, where first-class seats cost $9,000 to $13,000 round trip, was greeted by two arching water cannons.


"It was like a beautiful big bird coming out of the sky," said Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion.


The plane's first-class compartment holds 14 suites, each with sliding doors, wood- and gold-lined panelling, a mini-bar, flat-screen television, and a leather chair that vibrates, massages, and folds out into a bed.


Headsets in first-class come in velour bags. Dinner is served in silver baskets and on porcelain white plates.


The A380, the largest passenger plane ever built, also holds two bar lounges, one on each floor.


Two shower spas for first-class passengers offer visitors 25 minutes to shower and pamper themselves, as the flight offers complimentary toiletries and Bvlgari perfume.


Seventy-six business-class seats, costing $4,500 to $9,000, give passengers smaller, but still private, spaces, with mini-bars and flat-screen televisions.


Economy seats, 10 in each row, holding large TV screens, complimentary pillows and blankets, and free toys such as hand puppets and colouring books for children, run between $900 and $2,500.


Captain and pilot Dave Heino, a Burlington, Ont., native, said the plane's landing was smooth.


He flew over the Burlington airport where he trained as a pilot in 1980.


"I was hoping we would land that way," he said. "We lucked out. It was nice, we flew right over it."


Heino said he trained on four-seater Cessnas, much smaller than the gigantic plane with its 80-metre wingspan he handled Monday.


"It's just a regular airplane, until you get it on the ground, and then it's big," he said.


The Canadian government allows the Emirates airline three flights into Toronto a week.


The airline's airtime in Canada is restricted, due to subsidies it receives from the United Arab Emirates government, which is building the airline's new hub in Dubai.


Tim Clark, president of Emirates airline, said he's meeting with Transportation Minister John Baird on Tuesday.


"We've been arguing with Transport Canada for many, many years," he said. "It's not really going anywhere ... The argument is, if this carrier comes into Canada, Air Canada will finally go bankrupt," he said. "To put that argument at our door is ludicrous."


© Copyright © Canwest News Service








Donc les vols Toronto-Dubai en A380 ont officiellement commencé.


Est-ce que des compagnies vont se rendre à Montréal en A380?

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Air France voulait le faire, mais ils ont préférés la flexibilité d'un 4ième vol journalier que d'avoir un a380 de plus... mais c'est pas impossible qu'ils changent d'avis.

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