The European aerospace giant Airbus has announced an upgraded version of the world’s biggest passenger jet, the A380.
Airbus claimed the “A380Plus” would grant airlines up to 80 more seats and generate greater fuel efficiency.
In a statement Sunday, John Leahy, Airbus chief operating officers – customers, said: “The A380plus is an efficient way to offer even better economics and improved operational performance at the same time.”
“It is a new step for our iconic aircraft to best serve worldwide fast-growing traffic and the evolving needs of the A380 customers. The A380 is well-proven as the solution to increasing congestion at large airports, and in offering a unique, passenger-preferred experience,” Leahy added.
The A380 superjumbo has struggled to make money for Airbus as the airline industry trend switched to smaller, twin-engine planes that still have the ability to fly long distances.
The biggest buyer of the A380 has been Emirates, which have called on Airbus and engine maker Rolls-Royce to provide a new upgraded “neo” version.
In response, Airbus says the A380Plus has a new wing design which can save up to 4 percent in fuel burn.
Airbus also says the new version of the A380 allows the seat count to increases from 497 to 575. For this to work Airlines would need to install a layout utilizing “redesigned stairs, a combined crew-rest compartment, sidewall stowage removal, a new 9-abreast seat configuration in premium economy and 11-abreast in economy.”
Airbus says The A380Plus will have an increased maximum take-off weight of 578 tonnes, allowing airlines to either carry more passengers over the maximum range of 8,200 nautical miles or increase the range by 300 miles.