Wednesday, 17 October 2007
Internet entrepreneur forked out $100,000 for first A380 flight
Published: Tuesday, 16 October, 2007, 02:04 AM Doha Time
Julian Hayward poses aboard the first Airbus A380 delivered to Singapore International Airlines in Toulouse yesterday
TOULOUSE: Singapore Airlines yesterday unveiled the mystery bidder who paid more than $100,000 for a seat on the inaugural flight of the Airbus A380 between Singapore and Sydney.
Julian Hayward, a 38-year-old Briton who sold his Internet business in 2000, said he wanted a “little bit of history” by flying in seat 1A in the first class area of the plane on next week’s journey.
“I’m the sort of person who acts first and thinks about it afterwards,” the entrepreneur said as he boarded the world’s biggest passenger jet for a look around yesterday in Toulouse.
Hayward, whose previous adventures include taking a nuclear submarine and flying in a Russian MiG-25 fighter jet, has been travelling for the last five years and is now based in Sydney where he hopes to get Australian citizenship.
Singapore Airlines staged an Internet auction for tickets on the October 25 Singapore-Sydney flight, raising $1.3mn for charity.
Hayward said he planned to devote the rest of his life to charitable causes and was attracted to the auction because part of the money is destined for Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres).
He paid $100,380 for the flight and is to travel with a friend, rather than his partner who was too busy with work. “It’s a bit like flying Concorde. It’s something you should do once,” he said of the A380.
He started his business, called Direct Connection, in 1987 before the internet boom of the late 1990s. He sold at the top of the market in 2000 for an amount he declined to disclose. – AFP