The Airbus A380 is already the largest passenger plane in the world, holding around 550 passengers in its typical configuration. But Airbus says it can make this super-jumbo jet even more jumbo by reconfiguring it to squeeze in another 80 seats.Airbus
Some of the changes provide more room for the seats by modifying the cabin layout while others squeeze more people into each row. The average seat count on an A380 in operation today is 497 – below the suggested count. The extra space has made it a popular choice with passengers.
The A380 now typically seats about 550 passengers on two decks in a three-class layout, though many airlines opt for fewer seats and add flourishes such as bars and showers at Dubai-based Emirates or in-flight duty-free shops at Korean Air Lines Co.Emirates
Airbus cabin marketing executive Ingo Wuggetzer said that introducing a slimmer stairway instead of the double staircase would generate enough space to add 20 extra seats.
Meanwhile, changing the shape of the rounded stairway at the back to a square one would provide further space, for 14 more passengers plus two food trolleys. "There's a lot more revenue generation potential," Wuggetzer said at the Aircraft Interiors fair in Hamburg on Tuesday.
Airbus Commercial Aircraft executive vice president strategy and marketing Kiran Rao said the new package for A380 customers was a smart way to meet airlines needs “while improving the A380 economics with additional revenues and innovating in passenger comfort”.
“Only the A380 has the economies of scale and development potential to efficiently solve the problem of increasing congestion at large airports while providing the best comfort for passengers,’’ he said. “The aircraft can also serve fast-growing markets and airlines regional airports, so we are adapting the aircraft to meet evolving market needs.”
Last year, Airbus said it would cut production of the Airbus A380, after demand dropped for the superjumbo airplane. The A380 giant passenger load means that airlines have to fly to hub cities before passengers make connections to their final destinations on smaller planes. It can be more efficient for airlines to instead use smaller planes and fly passengers nonstop to more destinations.