November 27, 2007 in Business

A380 heading to Twin Cities for once-over

From Wire Reports The Spokesman-Review
 

Airbus says a visit to Minneapolis by its A380 jet plane isn’t a sales call, but no one flies here in November for the scenery.

Northwest Airlines Corp. executives will look over the slow-selling A380 superjumbo during a visit to their home airport today.

The aircraft made its first commercial flight with 455 passengers last month, nearly two years late and billions of dollars over budget. Airbus spokesman Clay McConnell said the plane is flying from Airbus’ home in Toulouse, France, to Minneapolis, then Los Angeles and Sydney, Australia. The trip is aimed at demonstrating the plane’s capabilities to airlines, airports and passengers, he said.

“I wouldn’t say it’s an effort to convince them,” he said, referring to Northwest. “The aircraft really speaks for itself.”

Airbus has booked orders for 165 A380s so far.

Arbitron Inc. is delaying the rollout of a new ratings system for radio stations in nine markets following complaints from broadcasters that the system’s samples were too small to provide reliable data.

The delays announced Monday, which range between three and nine months, mark a significant setback for the new electronic ratings method, which Arbitron has been developing for years as a way to replace the 1960s-era paper-and-pencil diary system.

Several broadcasters have been raising objections to the new system, saying Arbitron was failing to meet targets for getting enough people to participate, particularly young adults ages 18 to 34 and members of ethnic minorities.

Dubai International Capital, an investment company owned by the ruler of this booming Persian Gulf city-state, has acquired a stake of undisclosed size in the Japanese electronics and media company Sony Corp.

Sony’s U.S. shares rose 1.9 percent Monday following the announcement, gaining 93 cents to $50.01.

The purchase is the latest by Middle East investors who have become more aggressive in looking for investment opportunities overseas.

United Arab Emirates-based DIC described its investment in Sony as “substantial” in a statement posted on the company’s Web site but did not provide a specific ownership percentage.

Sony spokesman Daichi Yamafuji confirmed Dubai International Capital’s purchase but refused to elaborate.

“It’s the other party that acquired the stake and we decline to discuss any other details such as the number of shares involved,” he said.


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