Airbus Moves To Increase Average A380 Capacity by 78 Seats

 - April 4, 2017, 2:21 PM
A new forward stair design for the A380 creates enough space for 20 more passengers in three seating classes. (Image: Airbus)

Airbus has unveiled a series of space-saving modifications for the A380 cabin that will result in room for another 78 passengers on average. Presenting the package at the April 4 to 6 Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany, the company said average four-class passenger capacity will increase from 497 to 575, allowing the A380 to generate “significantly more revenue” for operators.

An 11-abreast “three-five-three” seating configuration in the airplane’s main deck economy class accounts for the most additional capacity, allowing for another 23 passengers. Meanwhile, modifications allowing for a move to eight abreast to nine abreast in premium economy accounts for another 11.

However, perhaps the most revenue-generating potential lies with a new forward stairs (NFS) design that involves relocation of the forward stair from Door 1 to Door 2 and combining the entrance of the NFS to the upper deck with the adjacent staircase to the lower-deck crew rest. That modification will add another 20 seats in business, economy plus and economy.

Still more business class capacity comes from the removal of upper-deck sidewall stowage, increasing wall-to-wall cabin width at foot-rest height and generating space for up to 10 more business class seats/beds in an angled herring-bone arrangement.

Separately, a new aft-galley stair module (AGSM) involves the redesign of the rear stair from a spiral agreement to a straight/square one, allowing for more storage volume for galley modules on the main deck. The AGSM provides space for 14 more revenue passengers plus two extra food trolleys.

Finally, the offerings include a combined crew-rest compartment (CCRC), where designers moved down the existing flight-crew-rest (behind the cockpit in the mezzanine area at Door 1) and combined it with the cabin crew rest on the lower deck. That modification allows for another three premium economy seats in the front of the main deck.