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BBC Radio 4 - 92 to 94 FM and 198 Long WaveListen to Digital Radio, Digital TV and OnlineListen on Digital Radio, Digital TV and Online

News and Current Affairs
SHOP TALK
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Tuesdays 16:00-16:30
Intelligent and entertaining conversation about business, money, technology and workplace issues.

Presented by Heather Payton, each programme picks up on trends and returns to stories that have moved out of the headlines.
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Listen to Shop Talk for 6 January 2004
PRESENTER
HEATHER PAYTON
Heather Payton
 
PROGRAMME DETAILS
Tuesday 6 January 2004

Airbus A380 super jumbo


Superjumbos

Shop Talk will be looking at the new superjumbo being built by Airbus.

The double-decker will carry more than 555 passengers and be the biggest passenger plane ever made. The aim by the manufacturers is to change the whole experience of flying - there'll be enough space to wander around freely, pausing at the bar or the cafeteria or dropping into the on-board duty free shop.

By the end of this year the first of these giant aircraft will roll off the production line. And the first commercial flight is scheduled for early 2006, with Singapore Airlines the launch customer.

Building the aircraft is a huge logistical undertaking with parts being made all over Europe - the wings are being manufactured in Broughton in Wales.

Some parts are so enormous that they have to be shipped on specially modified ferries and barges and some roads in South West France are being widened so that an Airbus lorry convoy can travel at night from Bordeaux to the main assembly factory in Toulouse. Airports are also having to be modified to make room for the new aircraft.

But will global airlines buy enough A380s to make all this worthwhile? And in the heyday of smaller planes carrying many of us on short low-cost routes, does this monster make sense? Lesley Curwen will be discussing the questions surrounding the new A380 superjumbo and the future of flight.

GUESTS:

Iain Gray
Managing Director of Airbus UK

Raja Segran
General Manager Singapore Airlines in the UK and Ireland

Eryl Smith
Director Business Strategy, BAA Heathrow

Max Kingsley-Jones
Flight International

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