10 JANUARY 2011
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South Korea's Asiana Airlines, a Star Alliance member, has ordered six A380 super jumbos from Airbus in a boost for the world's largest airliner following an in-flight emergency in November.
The deal is the first firm order for the A380 since the Qantas scare and the largest from a new customer since British Airways ordered 12 in 2007.
Japan's Skymark Airlines said in November it may order up to 15 and announced an initial order for four, though these have yet to appear on the official Airbus order book.
Airbus said Asiana would make an engine selection for its A380 fleet in the "near future", in what could be seen as a test of industry support for engine maker Rolls-Royce or US rivals. The purchase puts Asiana in direct competition for deployment of the double-decker plane with national carrier Korean Air, which has ordered a total of ten A380s with the first due to enter service this year. The A380 order book currently stands at 240 with 41 delivered. www.airbus.com http://us.flyasiana.com
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