Ten years ago, to the day, on 27th April 2005, the largest commercial aircraft in the world, the A380 took off for the first time. Since then, more than 150 super-jumbos criss-cross the planet.
The double-deck, A380 can carry up to 853 passengers, but the thirteen companies currently operating the ‘plane have not opted for this high-density version. On average, each carry 400 to 500 passengers, only one of which - Airbus has not yet divulged the name - has ordered a 600-seater two class version.
With the A380, the image of the classic airliner has changed. Thanks to its additional cabin space, companies have installed lounges, bars, shops, and spas onboard.
But today, this is still not enough. To boost orders for the A380, that have levelled out at some 300 units over the last year, Airbus is considering an optimization of the cabin space. With certain refurbishments, twenty more Business and Economy Class seats could be added, in a multi-class configuration. One way to provide companies with up to $ 20 million additional revenue, per A380, per year.
Fabrice Brégier, CEO - Airbus: "The aviation market doubles in size, every 10 to 15 years, so there will be a greater need in the future, for large aircraft such as the A380."
Re-powering of the aircraft, requested several times by Emirates, the biggest A380 customer, could also allow super-jumbo sales to take off again, however, for the time being, the aircraft manufacturer does not consider this 'A380neo' a priority.