Emirates debuts the world's most passenger-packed Airbus A380

Emirates debuts the world's most passenger-packed Airbus A380

Emirates will this week showcase its latest Airbus A380, designed to pack in some 615 passengers from tip to tail.

It's the most bums on seats of any airline flying the double-decker jet – around 100 more than the A380s of Air France, Qatar Airways and some of Emirates' other superjumbos, which average around 516 travellers.

Emirates magicked up the extra space by dropping its luxe first class suites from the nose of the A380.

The 14 private cabins, their two inflight showers and some of the kitchen area set aside for first class and business class passengers made way for 120 economy seats.

Review: Emirates Airbus A380 first class 'shower spa'

Business class also took a hit, going from 76 seats down to 58 – although the airline's iconic cocktail bar escaped the scythe and can still be found at the rear of the upper deck.

Review: Emirates Airbus A380 inflight cocktail bar and lounge

The lower deck remains given over to economy, with 437 seats in all.

By comparison, Qantas' A380s carry 484 passengers in first class, business, premium economy and economy class.

Emirates says its two-class A380s are intended for routes where there's insufficient demand for the high-priced realms of first class, and where even a full business class cabin can be hard to achieve.

The new A380s will debut on Dubai-Copenhagen and Dubai-Bangkok flights from flights from December 1, with Dubai-Kuala Lumpur to follow in January.

The Gulf colossus has no intention to drop first class from the bulk of its A380 fleet, however, and is working on a new extra-luxe version of the suites which an Emirates executive says will be "more like a private railway cabin."

Tim Clark, President and CEO of Emirates, has previously said the "our new bedroom concept will take [privacy] to the next level.” 

"We’re talking fully enclosed rooms, with all the touches and amenities that you’d expect in hotel or a private bedroom on a luxury yacht, room service and so on."

Read more: New Emirates first class private bedroom for Airbus A380, Boeing 777

But the superjumbo's supersqueeze won't stop there, with Airbus now offering airlines a tight-fitting '11 across' seating option.

Dubbed 'budget economy', the seats will be less than 17 inches wide, compared to the 17.5 inches of a Qantas Airbus A380 economy seat by way of example.

And you can forget about the cheap seats being grouped in a 3-4-3 layout: Airbus has squeezed an extra seat into the centre row to create a 3-5-3 configuration. 

Here's the official Airbus PR pic, showing the middle seat which nobody will want to be stuck in.

Airbus' A380 budget economy seating

Read more: Airbus reveals A380 'Budget Economy' seating, 11-across squeeze

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT

 

32 Comments

  • TheRealBabushka

    TheRealBabushka

    8 Nov, 2015 10:45 pm

    3-5-3.... There is a word for that: Insanity.

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  • Serg

    Serg

    9 Nov, 2015 11:27 am

    Herd wanna save a dollar. They simply deliver.

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  • Looking

    Looking

    8 Nov, 2015 10:48 pm

    Better than steerage on the Titanic I guess.

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  • Aussie Vee

    Aussie Vee

    9 Nov, 2015 12:20 am

    At least the pax in steerage got to die.

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  • Alcoano

    Alcoano

    9 Nov, 2015 09:07 am

    Too soon

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  • markpk

    markpk

    9 Nov, 2015 12:17 pm

    Too soon? 

    That my friend is comment of the day! 

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  • Shoudy Chen

    Shoudy Chen

    9 Nov, 2015 11:36 pm

    I need to refrain myself asap!

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  • wilsoni

    wilsoni

    9 Nov, 2015 07:40 am

    Ghost of the future: if EK do it, so will others. Yield is everything. 

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  • Chris_PER

    Chris_PER

    9 Nov, 2015 08:41 am

    11 across.  No thanks.  Yet the naive general public will still think Emirates are amazing.

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  • markpk

    markpk

    9 Nov, 2015 12:16 pm

    Totally agree Chris...

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  • tronixstuff

    tronixstuff

    9 Nov, 2015 08:51 am

    Haven't seen 5 across since the L-1011. Should have died with it as well. 

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  • StudiodeKadent

    StudiodeKadent

    9 Nov, 2015 02:26 pm

    If Emirates go 11-abreast, I'm tempted to suspect they'll introduce an "Economy Plus" option (say, the front cabin of the lower deck going 3-3-3, same service but bigger seats and maybe a small snack bar) in order to compensate. They'd also be the first of the Gulf carriers to introduce an intermediate class between Economy and Business.

    But really... please Emirates, 10-abreast is more than enough!

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  • Amjid

    Amjid

    9 Nov, 2015 03:21 pm

    Whilst 11 abreast is not good - EK may be the first to offer 3-5-3, I remember MH on their old 777's with 2-5-2 configuration...

    So a 5-middle seat has been done - as recent at 2010/2011 too...

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  • Shoudy Chen

    Shoudy Chen

    9 Nov, 2015 04:14 pm

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  • Dale

    Dale

    9 Nov, 2015 05:24 pm

    Are they CRAZY, 11 abreast on 17" wide seats. Creedy has a new name it's Emirates.

    As in "His a bit Emirates".

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  • rhysr

    rhysr

    9 Nov, 2015 07:26 pm

    Has anyone here actually read the article? EK have not gone 11 abreast nor have they displayed any desire to. The 3-5-3 is an Airbus concept that they will offer to airlines. As yet, no one has picked it up.

    The 2 class A380 is still 3-4-3.

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  • vlad

    vlad

    10 Nov, 2015 12:13 pm

    To be fair, it was pretty disingenuous (to put it more-than-politely) of the author to hamfist in another unrelated article about Airbus' 'budget economy' concept under the headline 'Emirates debuts the world's most passenger-packed Airbus A380'.

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  • planemad

    planemad

    10 Nov, 2015 01:11 am

    What happens to the F bathrooms?

    It states in the article that the bar/lounge, will still remain in the same place, so are they going to put economy seats upfront in the old F class cabin? - therefore giving them the large and spacious bathrooms?

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  • Jason Bird

    Jason Bird

    10 Nov, 2015 01:59 am

    David, I believe Airbus said it would still offer an 18in seat width on the 11 abreast A380 seating. This would be achieved through the special optimisation of the side panels.

    I found this hard to believe at the time, but are we 100% sure Airbus would go sub 17in seat width, given their attack ads re the 9 abreast B787 and 10 abreast B77W??

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  • rhysr

    rhysr

    10 Nov, 2015 02:44 am

    Looking at the photos from the 18in window seats in the 11 abreast mockup, I'm thinking 17in would be the better option.

    http://www.ausbt.com.au/squeeze-alert-airbus-touts-new-budget-economy-airplane-seating http://www.ausbt.com.au/squeeze-alert-airbus-touts-new-budget-economy-airplane-seating

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  • Chris_PER

    Chris_PER

    10 Nov, 2015 11:38 am

    So they serve coffee in a slim line mug to make the seat look bigger :)

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  • itchyfeet

    itchyfeet

    11 Nov, 2015 07:22 pm

    Nope. Noooo. No. Nope.

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  • Connor D'Monsoon

    Connor D'Monsoon

    10 Nov, 2015 04:38 am

    Budget Economy huh? - That sounds as much fun as a cheese grater to the sausage factory!

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  • simon drakeley

    simon drakeley

    10 Nov, 2015 03:55 pm

    does anyone know yet how they will disembark business when its behind economy on the upper deck? - or embark separately? ie maintain their special service?

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  • vlad

    vlad

    10 Nov, 2015 05:07 pm

    This is just a guess, but I would assume the walkway would connect to the jet midway, where economy and business split, and let business off first.

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  • simon drakeley

    simon drakeley

    12 Nov, 2015 08:53 am

    the front door is before business which is after some rows of economy - so will have to walk through economy to get to business - which isnt that bad of course on boarding - its more getting off which used to be nice and special - just wondering how they will do that?

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  • Wilma Ballsdrop

    Wilma Ballsdrop

    10 Nov, 2015 10:16 pm

    mmmmm I'm sure the condemmed cell in the Bastille was equally as comfortable.

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  • Jim willoughby

    Jim willoughby

    11 Nov, 2015 06:26 pm

    What a way to spoil such a good reputation, by squeezing in as many people as you can.  Who would want to sit in that number 3 seat in the middle?

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  • chap6595

    chap6595

    15 Nov, 2015 01:50 pm

    It looks like my flight from Manchester to Dubai on the 12th Jan, is a Two Class A380...Could this be right?

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  • Stuart Ager

    Stuart Ager

    20 Nov, 2015 03:38 pm

    What can I say, from the greedy 3-4-3 on 777's vs 3-3-3 on other airlines, to now a greedy 3-5-3 on the greedy A380 update. I always new Emirates liked profit, but I think this is now totally overboard. Would "anyone" in their right mind want to sit in the inside middle seat. This reminds me of the Continental Airlies DC10's in the 1990's. Realy Emirates, this is one step too far. For a so called (once was) premium carrier, greed has just got too much. It is bad enough that your business class service on the A380's at times resembles McDonald at lunchtime, where air crew are more interested in chatting than providing business class quality service. Shame on you...really. What next, coin slots on the lav doors??

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  • Brian Williams

    Brian Williams

    20 Nov, 2015 04:34 pm

    My first international flight was on an Air NZ DC10, from AKL to LAX via HNL, with a 2-5-2 configuration in Y. It never occured to me to ask for an aisle seat, and consequently I found myself stuck in the middle seat of 5 for the whole journey. Never again did I make the same mistake.

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  • bl812

    bl812

    20 Nov, 2015 05:56 pm

    like a packed bus service on economy-next move will be use the cargo hole for more seats-but this is what you get if you can only afford to fly on economy which is not cheap either-no wonder that emirates made a huge profit already this year-overpriced and mediocre to say the best-fly with rivals instead-Qatar and Etihad much better anyday

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10 Dec, 2016 08:12 am

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