Airbus A380 said to be safe to fly

The world’s largest airliner, the Airbus A380 superjumbo, was declared Tuesday safe to fly commercial services, capping six years of development marred by delays in deliveries to airlines.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) gave their approval in a ceremony at the European planemaker’s Toulouse headquarters.

“It’s a great day for aviation…. The size of this aircraft is indicative of just how big dreams can be,” FAA Administrator Marion Blakey said, shortly before the transatlantic safety agencies handed over “type certificates” for the plane.

With its brand-new paperwork, the 555-seat, double-decker aircraft comes of age as a mammoth addition to the world’s airliner fleet despite production delays hampering deliveries. The discovery of wiring installation problems in Europe’s biggest industrial project plunged Airbus parent EADS (Charts) into financial and management turmoil over the summer, slicing a quarter off the Franco-German aerospace group’s market value.

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