Airbus may host casinos
By Paul
Soon you may be able to spin the wheel at roulette or shoot a game of craps at 16,000 feet. Or Walk around a shop, dine in a restaurant, sleep in a private cabin even visit the gym. Apparently, in-flight casinos are one of the ideas being considered by airlines as ways of making premium passengers feel more at home in the skies.

97 of the supersized Airbus A380 jets have been ordered worldwide, by airlines including Qantas Airways, Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Lufthansa and Virgin Atlantic.

The double-decker, 500-555 seat $250 million aviation beast is set to revolutionise air travel when it starts commercial flights in early 2006, said Airbus marketing analyst Thomas Burger.

With almost 50% more room than the Boeing 747-400, the aircraft gives airlines around 35% more seats and more room to offer innovative extras, he said.

'It offer the potential for the airlines to offer a whole new way to fly to their passengers,' Mr Burger said.

Some Asian carriers are looking at housing a casino in the extra space in the lower deck, Airbus executive vice president customer affairs John Leahy said.

'Some Asian carriers are talking to us about even a casino down below, where you could have a little pub and little slot machines,' Mr Leahy said.

'Some have been worried about, (the fact) you can't fly it into the United States, but actually cruise ships go into the US all the time.

'We are talking to several operators about casinos under floor. There could also be duty free shopping under floor, there could be lounges under floor.'

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