As if the A380 seating layout wasn’t enough for some carriers, Airbus announced they were reconfiguring the plane’s layout to accommodate up to 80 additional seats. The modifications are in response to sales of the superjumbo aircraft which have been far slower than expected.
“We are adapting the aircraft to meet evolving market needs,” said Kiran Rao, executive vice president of strategy for Airbus’s commercial-plane division. Those needs, though, are those of the airlines not the flying public. Flyers in the non-premium cabins may very well feel even more like sardines. Changes to make room for the additional seats include relocating the main staircase. Also in the proposals are eliminating and reducing pilot and crew rest areas.
The A380 Seating Increases Profits, Not Comfort
Airlines are seeking to increase revenues and profitability against the low-cost carriers such as Ryanair and Spirit. Typical A380 buildouts seat about 550 passengers on two decks in three-classes. Some higher-end airlines choose to have fewer seats and instead install amenities such as larger premium-cabin pods, closed compartments, bars, and shower facilities.
Interestingly, the plane can accommodate up to 800 passengers if configured strictly for coach-class seats.
Airbus announced the proposed configurations at the at the 2017 Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany this week.