Source AP ©

Emirates Airlines receives its first of 58 Airbus A380 superjumbo jet

Emirates Airlines took delivery Monday of the first of 58 Airbus A380 superjumbo planes it has ordered and announced it had signed up to buy another 60 aircraft from the European plane builder.

The report came as the airline received the A380 in an elaborate hand-off ceremony in northern Germany.

Dubai-based Emirates announced the deal to buy 30 A330-300s and 30 A350-XWB widebody passenger planes as part of its plans to expand its growing international network. Financial terms of the order or a delivery schedule were not revealed.

"We are forging ahead with our expansion plans and the A330-300s and A350-XWBs will enable Emirates to continue its growth using modern fuel efficient aircraft," said Emirates chief executive Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum.

The A380 has been in service since Singapore Airlines took delivery of the first of the double-decker A380 planes late last year. Singapore Airlines operates five of the 19 planes it ordered on long-haul routes to Asia, Australia and Europe.

The plane Emirates received Monday is on the far edge of luxury and comfort - the airline said it's the only commercial airline in the world equipped with showers. It also features spas, bars, lounges and private suites for passengers.

Emirates has orders for another 57 A380s - the most ordered by any airline - and plans to use the plane for service between Dubai and destinations in Australia, New Zealand, London and New York.

The Toulouse, France-based Airbus, the aircraft division of European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company NV., said it has 202 orders for the passenger version of the A380s so far. The next biggest orders are Australia's Qantas Airways with 20, Singapore Airlines with 19, and German airline Lufthansa with 15 A380s.

In a typical three-class configuration, the aircraft can seat about 525 people. The next largest passenger aircraft, the Boeing 747, seats about 420 in the same configuration.