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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 June 2007, 15:20 GMT 16:20 UK
Airbus superjumbo for private use
A380 plane
The A380 superjumbo requires special pilots

An unnamed buyer at the Paris air show has placed an order for an Airbus A380 superjumbo to use as a private jet.

Airbus said the individual, "not from Europe or the US", would use the plane for "personal use for him and his entourage", AFP news agency reported.

The double-decker, which is thought to have cost $300m (150m), has 900 sq m (10,000 sq ft) in cabin space and has room for up to 840 passengers.

It is expected to take more than a year to convert the jet for private use.

Aage Duenhaupt, a spokesperson for Lufthansa Technik, which turns large commercial planes into private jets, said the majority of clients were originally Middle Eastern.

But using the model as a private jet could be problematic, because its weight and size mean it can only be landed at a limited number of airports, by certain pilots.

Environmental groups were annoyed by the news.

Joss Garman, from Plane Stupid, said that buying a superjumbo for private use was like "buying a filthy coal-fired power station just to use to charge up your mobile phone."

The model is set to come into use later in 2007.


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