France, Toulouse, 05 – 07 August 2015

Followed the Route des Vins for a part of the way to Toulouse, non stop Chateaux, beautiful countryside, very little traffic and no trucks, last 70 km into Toulouse was a 4 lane road.

Toulouse, population 1.3 million also known as the Pink City apparently because of all the red brick (not pink) buildings. It is the centre of the European aerospace industry, Airbus headquarters and final assembly plant and the 4th largest university campus in France with 103,000 students.

I went on a tour of the Airbus A380 final assembly plant, no photos allowed, not a soul in sight, they close for 2 weeks in July for holidays and plant maintenance. If you try to book online it says you have to book 2 days in advance but if you call them they book you in straight away ?

Some useless facts for you to forget, cost of an A380 is $428,000,000, it takes 2 years to make one and they make 30 a year, bits are made all over the EU and shipped to Toulouse for final assembly. There were two A380’s covered in brown camouflage waiting to be repainted and refitted, orders that fell through, the biggest customer is Emirates with orders in for 140 A380’s. It can seat 853 in an all economy configuration but typically seats 525 in a 3 class configuration. There are plans to make a stretched version.

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