French carrier Air France has received the first of 12 A380 airliners from Airbus.

The new double-deck A380 has been delivered with 538 seats in a three-class configuration. The aircraft is powered by four GP7200 engines and has a range of over 8000nm.

The aircraft will begin commercial service by the end of November 2009 on the Paris-New York-Paris route.

Air France KLM CEO Pierre-Henri Gourgeon said that each A380 will enable Air France to save €12m to €15m a year, which, in today’s depressed economic climate, provides the company with the means to withstand the crisis.

With the aircraft, Air France becomes the first European airline to operate the A380.

The airline ordered ten A380s in June 2001 and added another two in 2007.