BY A CORRESPONDENT
12 Feb 2005: On the day of the Reveal, 18th January, more than 640,000 unique visitors logged on as the biggest and most advanced passenger aircraft ever built was shown to the world for the first time. More than one in three visitors came from the USA. The next largest proportion came from the UK, then Germany, Sweden, Spain, Netherlands and France.
During peak times the site drew 52,000 visits on average per hour, with a high of 65,000. On just one day twice as many people logged onto the site as normally log on in an average month. Well over 14 million hits were viewed through the day.
In the first 20 days of January, covering the build-up to the Airbus A 380 Reveal, the day itself and afterwards, the number of visitors to the site was more than 1,650,000, equal to a third of the total number of unique visitors for the whole of 2004.
On the day of the employees’ Reveal, 19th January, more than 410,000 visitors logged on around the world.
Other Airbus A 380 website statistics confirm the huge impact of the event, widely seen as the dawn of a new era for air travel:
*More than 84,000 people registered for the game “Win an A380”
*More than 5,000 people sent messages to the guestbook
*More than 2,000 journalists registered for the site’s special press room
Media coverage around the world also reflected the enormous excitement generated by the unveiling of the Airbus A 380.
Major worldwide television news networks like CNN and Sky TV broadcast live reports from the Jean-Luc Lagardère Final Assembly Line in Toulouse as the day’s grand ceremony – attended by nearly 5,000 special guests and involving a spectacular sound and light show with fireworks, fountains and trapeze artists - unfolded.
Extracts from the speeches delivered at the Airbus A 380 unveiling ceremony by each of the four national leaders who attended featured in the prime time news bulletins of virtually every major country. British Prime Minister Tony Blair, French President Jacques Chirac, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodriquez Zapatero all spoke of the great achievement the Airbus A 380 represented for Airbus’ employees, shareholders and suppliers.
Photographs of the gleaming Airbus A 380 in Airbus’ brand new livery – also revealed for the first time – were splashed across the front pages of many of the world’s leading newspapers. Stories reflected the view that the 555-seat Airbus A 380, the first double-decker passenger jet built, is set to transform air travel. It is the “future of flying”, as one Airbus A380 customer put it on the day of the Reveal.
Now that the first Airbus A 380 has gone on show, ground tests on the aircraft are being completed, including fuel and final systems checks. It is then due to be handed over to the Flight Test department to prepare for its maiden flight, beginning the flight test programme leading to certification and entry into service in 2006.
BY A CORRESPONDENT
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