In a ceremonial act, the Airbus subsidiary Aircabin GmbH at Laupheim today officially opened its new production hall for the Airbus A380. From mid-2004 on, cabin equipment components and low pressure air ducts for the air conditioning system of the new Airbus A380 superjumbo will be manufactured here. This will create roughly 220 extra jobs in Laupheim.

In addition to production of equipment components and low pressure air ducts for the air conditioning system, the sleeping cabins for the crew members of the new A380, the 555-seater flagship of the 21st century, are to be built in Laupheim. Planning for this, the 100 percent Airbus subsidiary has doubled the area of its site over the past two years. Additional areas have also been set aside for suppliers and subcontractors to move into around the Laupheim Airbus site.

In his inaugural address Gerhard Puttfarcken, Chairman of the Airbus Deutschland GmbH Executive Management Board, emphasised the importance of components produced in Laupheim for the A380, saying: "The high-tech components for the cabin and air ducting show that our Airbus A380, the flagship of the 21st century, is increasingly becoming a reality. The employees at Laupheim produce all the components using the latest manufacturing methods in one of Europe's most up-to-date production facilities.

Aircabin GmbH has been delivering cabin components for all Airbus models since the early seventies. In 2002 and 2003, a total of 55 million euros has been invested in future A380 production at the Laupheim site. From 2004 on, staff will be built up until approximately 420 employees are manufacturing cabin components for the new Airbus A380 in the 15,000 square metre production hall. 3.8 tonnes of screws and bolts alone were needed for the 20,000-tonne building structure, as well as 1,200 tonnes of construction steel. In addition, the building contains 160 kilometres of power cables and 40 kilometres of computer cabling. The new production hall is also equipped with state-of-the-art technical features such as heat recovery ventilators.

The first flight of the A380 is planned for early 2005. The first delivery of this new widebody aircraft will be to Singapore Airlines in the year 2006. Up to now 129 firm orders and commitments have already been received from eleven customers around the world for this aircraft.

A leading aircraft manufacturer with the most modern and comprehensive product line on the market, Airbus is a global company with design and manufacturing facilities in France, Germany, the UK, and Spain as well as subsidiaries in the U.S., China and Japan. Headquartered in Toulouse, France, Airbus is an EADS joint Company with BAE SYSTEMS.