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1/18/2004--Toulouse, France..The first Airbus A380 super jumbo is unveiled to the public at a huge ceremony held in the south of France attended by British Prime Minister Tony Blair, French President Jacques Chirac, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.  Due to enter service in 2006, the A380 will replace the Boeing 747 jumbo as the world's biggest passenger aircraft; the 555 seat A380-800, with a non-stop range of 8,000 nautical miles, was launched in December 2000. The aircraft entered production in January 2002. The first flight (with the Rolls-Royce engines) is scheduled for March, 2005 and entry into service for early 2006. ..Airbus's double-decker passenger jet will be the largest airliner ever built. In a one-class configuration, the A380 could accommodate as many as 840 passengers. The more likely three-class configuration will still offer an unprecedented 555 passenger seats. The A380 would offer 30% - 50% more seating than its direct competition, the Boeing 747-400...European aircraft maker Airbus launched production of its A380 ?superjumbo,? the biggest ever commercial airliner, stepping up its challenge to U.S. rival Boeing Co. which has staked its future on a new mid-sized jet...Photograph by Stuart Isett.©2004 Stuart Isett. All rights reserved