Thu, Oct 25, 2007
Charity Seat Auction Raised $1.26 Million
Just after 2100 EDT Wednesday night -- early Thursday morning
local time -- the first Singapore Airlines A380 took off on its
maiden commercial flight, a quick 7.5-hour hop to Sydney.
Onboard the aptly-named Flight SQ380 were 455 passengers, some
of whom paid upwards of $100,000 for the privilege of a seat
onboard the maiden voyage.
As ANN reported, the carrier
auctioned off seats for the jumbo jet's maiden voyage on the online
auction site eBay with the proceeds going to charities such as
Medicins Sans Frontiers (also known as Doctors without Borders),
the Singapore Community Chest, Sydney Children's Hospital,
Randwick, and The Children's Hospital at Westmead.
The auction raised $1.26 million, reports the International
Also onboard the mammoth plane was a crew of about 30, including
a primary two-person flight crew and a relief crew.
"This is indeed a new milestone in the timeline of aviation,"
said Singapore Airlines CEO Chew Choon Seng before departure. He
also noted the A380 is "the first totally new big aircraft to be
designed and built since the Boeing 747."
The passenger load was somewhat less than the plane's capacity
of 471 people in a three-class configuration. SIA kept some seats
open -- including one of the premium suites -- for display.
Singapore Airlines took delivery of the plane last week. It will
start on regular revenue flights October 28.
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