At 10 Years Young, The A380 Continues To “Spread Its Love” For Passengers And Airline Operators Alike
When the A380 performed its maiden flight 10 years ago this month, it was clear that Airbus was once again shaping the future of air transportation.
The A380’s unrivalled interior volume enables operators to choose the cabin configuration that meets the needs of their specific routes and passenger preferences.
As an example, many airlines are incorporating a Premium Economy cabin, adding higher-revenue economy class seating while maintaining equivalent overall passenger count totals. As a result, airlines are able to boost the average passenger yield and generate approximately $13 million in additional revenue annually for each of their A380s, according to Frank Vermeire, the Head of A380 Marketing at Airbus.
Airbus also is offering an 11-abreast Budget Economy class layout, which retains Airbus’ comfort standard with 18-inch-wide seats.
“But we aren’t stopping here, as we have some new cabin innovations that allow even more optimisation of the cabin space, thereby allowing us to add additional business and premium economy seats,” Vermeire added. “The new higher seat count configuration, together with the increase in yield, will generate up to $20 million each year in additional revenues per A380.”
The A380’s cabin enables further enhancements of first and business class offerings as well, including private three-room suites for the most discerning travellers, while higher density arrangements for the A380 also are possible – with one airline announcing a two-class 600-seat configuration.
In developing the A380, teams at Airbus set their sights high from the design and technology point of view, introducing innovations literally from nose to tail. This includes the Runway Overrun Prevention System (ROPS) for enhanced safety during landing, and the AFDX® backbone network technology for on-board data exchange – both of which are used on the A350 XWB, and have become recognised industry benchmarks.