Monday, November 12, 2007

Saudi Prince buys A380 for private use.

World: Stylin and profiling all night long.

"Airbus would not release many details about bin Talal's VIP A380, which dwarfs the 747 -- formerly the world's most spacious plane. Staff who answered the phone at bin Talal's office on Monday in Saudi Arabia said he was unavailable to comment.

The commercial A380, which made its maiden voyage with Singapore Airlines last month, is as tall as a seven-story building with each wing big enough to hold 70 cars. It is capable of carrying 853 passengers in an all-economy class configuration.

Take out the seats, and the plane can be transformed into a flying mansion.

Germany's Lufthansa Technik, which declined to comment Monday on bin Talal's purchase, has created a general rendering of what a VIP A380 jumbo could include. It'd have spacious bedrooms on the plane's upper deck, separated by a reception area and a bar next to central stairway. The master bedroom could include an office, private dining room and a gym featuring a steam bath and exercise machines.

The lower decks could feature a lounge-type quarters equipped with a conference area and dining room. A third level, normally used for cargo, could be transformed into another passenger space or cinema.

This type of custom design does not come cheap. Experts say it could rack the price up by another $50 million to $150 million."

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