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Airbus: Korea's Asiana Airlines Orders 6 A380s

Asiana Airlines placed an order for six A380 superjumbo jets -- a welcome boost to the world's largest passenger aircraft whose reputation was hit by an engine explosion.

PARIS (AP) -- Airbus said Thursday that Korea's Asiana Airlines has placed an order for six A380 superjumbo jets -- a welcome boost to the world's largest passenger aircraft whose reputation was hit hard by an engine explosion in 2010.

That setback occurred Nov. 4, when a Qantas A380 superjumbo, Airbus' star plane, made a safe emergency landing in Singapore in what was the most significant safety issue yet for the giant jet since it began passenger flights in 2007.

The incident led to a global safety review by A380 operators, and caused the grounding of the models equipped with the Rolls-Royce engine that failed.

Airbus said in a statement on Thursday that Asiana -- which plans to operate the aircraft on key routes to Europe and the U.S. -- has not decided whether to equip its planes with the Rolls-Royce engine or an alternate powerplant made by Engine Alliance, a joint venture between GE Aircraft Engines and Pratt & Whitney.

"The order is a further endorsement of the A380 as the most efficient tool to meet demand on the world's most heavily traveled routes, especially out of the fast-growing Asia-Pacific region," said Airbus CEO John Leahy.

Firm orders for the A380 double-decker now stand at 240 from 18 customers. About 40 planes have been delivered.
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