Airbus successfully completed the passenger evacuation trial on development A380 MSN7, paving the way for the Authorities to certify the aircraft in time for delivery by the end of 2006. During the trial, all of the 873 participants were able to leave the aircraft and reach ground within the 90 seconds prescribed, with half of the 16 doors in operations. The trial was performed under the supervision of the European Aviation and Safety Agency EASA and a representation of the American FAA.

The Airworthiness Authorities will now thoroughly review the material available, analyse the passenger flow on the two decks, and the evacuation itself.

"There was one passenger suffering a broken leg and few minor injuries. We will support them in every way we can," said Airbus COO and Head of A380 programme Charles Champion. "Although the final number as confirmed by the Authority will only be known in a few days, we are very happy with this result. It clears the way for the transportation of passengers as defined by our initial customers who all have selected very comfortable three class layouts. And even in a higher density two class layout, the A380 cabin will continue to set new standards of comfort."

The evacuation trial was the most stringent ever performed and the first ever on a passenger aircraft with two decks. The aircraft was fitted with a very high density cabin layout, featuring 853 seats which were all occupied. In addition there were two cockpit crew members and 18 cabin crews from Lufthansa on board to manage the evacuation in a representative way. The trial was performed in darkness, yet filmed by infrared cameras. The doors and slides that were operative were not known before the trial.

The "passengers" having suffered injuries when arriving on the ground were immediately taken care of by the medical emergency and first aid service available on the site. Airbus will of course provide all the support required to the injured person who were covered by a special insurance.

The A380 is designed to carry an average of 555 passengers in three classes over distances up to 8,000 nm/ 15,000 km. To-date, 159 A380s have been ordered by 16 customers, with the first due to be delivered to first operator Singapore Airlines before the end of the year.

Airbus is an EADS joint company with BAE Systems.