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Supersizing the Airbus A380 – from 407 seats to 1,000 seats!

By David Flynn     Filed under: Airbus, Airbus A380, a380, superjumbo

From a spacious 407 seats to a possible 1,000 seat capacity, airlines continue to tailor and tweak the Airbus A380 to suit their needs and that of the changing travel market.

We've already seen Korean Air and Singapore Airlines both introducing A380s with the business class cabin running the entire length of the upper deck (see our photo gallery of Korean Air's A380 and our report on the Singapore Airlines variant).

With a spacious cocktail bar lounge at the rear of the upper deck, Korean Air's layout takes the cake for the world's lowest number of seats on the superjumbo with just 407 seats from tip to tail across all classes.

Meanwhile, Qantas is boosting the bench count on its A380s with orders for eight new superjumbos dropping first class in favour of business, premium economy and economy class seating.

The Australian flag-carrier remains tight-lipped about the final layout but we're expecting to see premium economy boosted from the current 32 seats to some 88 seats by extending further along the top deck, while business class will nudge north from 72 seats to 77.

Counting an unchanged 332 economy seats, this would see the Red Roo's A380 capacity jump from the current 450 seats to 497.

That's the fourth-highest capacity Airbus A380 in the world – slightly more than Emirates' 489 seats but still well behind the 508 seat floorplan of the Malaysian Airlines A380, Lufthansa's 526 seats and the maxed-out 538 seats on board an Air France A380.

What's next?

French airline Air Austral has ordered a pair of A380s packed with economy seats from tip to tail for a whopping 840 seat capacity. The super-sardinecans – sorry, superjumbos – are due to begin service in 2014.

And if you think today's A380 is massive, wait until the next generation of the superjumbo. Airbus is working on an even larger and longer version of the double-decker plane, the A380-900 (compared to today's A380-800 series).

The A380-900 will carry 650 passengers in a standard multi-class configuration and 900 passengers in economy-only mode, while Lufthansa and Air France are already eying an enhanced 1,000 seat version that's also on the drawing board called -- you guessed it -- the A380-1000.

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About David Flynn

David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

 

Have something to say? Post a comment now!

1 on 23/5/11 by carnelt

You forgot to mention that Air Austral will fly the A380 in an all economy class configuration - with 800 passengers - when it enters service in 2014.

1 on 24/5/11 by David

Actually, that's already in the article - see the third-last paragraph.

"French airline Air Austral has ordered a pair of A380s packed with economy seats from tip to tail for a whopping 840 seat capacity. The super-sardinecans – sorry, superjumbos – are due to begin service in 2014."

2 on 24/5/11 by carnelt

Oops, my bad!    I missed it!

1 on 24/5/11 by David

For punishment, you are hereby sentenced to spend 18 hours crammed into in the very worst seat aboard an Air Austral all-economy A380. Just in front of the toilet. Next to a crying baby. :)

 

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