Could an all-economy configuration of the Airbus A380 with nearly 1,000 passengers saved the program? Or is the concept of a 966-seat jet aircraft the stuff nightmares are made of?
The All-Economy Stretch A380 With 966 Seats Onboard
Andreas Spaeth, an aviation journalist in Germany, shared a LOPA (layout of passenger accommodations) for a stretch version of the Airbus A380, originally called the A3XX-200, that envisioned 966 passenger seats onboard:
— Andreas Spaeth (@SpaethFlies) September 16, 2020
The lower deck featured 550 seats in a 3-4-3 layout with 30 inches of seat pitch. The upper deck featured 416 seats in a 2-4-2 layout. 550 + 416 = 966.
I count 14 lavatories onboard, equating to one lavatory per 69 passengers!
For comparison purposes, here’s how many the seats A380 operators actually chose to install on ball:
- Air France – 516 passengers
- All Nippon Airways – 520
- Asiana Airlines – 495
- British Airways – 469
- China Southern Airlines – 506
- Emirates – 489 – 615 (as world’s largest A380 operator, Emirates has six different configurations)
- Etihad – 498
- Korean Air – 399 – 407
- Lufthansa – 509
- Malaysia Airlines – 494
- Qantas – 484
- Qatar Airways – 517
- Singapore Airlines – 379 – 471
- Thai Airways – 507
Note, the A3XX-200 was a stretch version of the A380 and the final version, the A380-800 was a bit shorter and would have accommodated up to 868 passengers in an all-economy class configuration. Airbus even considered squeezing in 11 seats across on the lower deck instead of 10, as pictured above.
I sometimes have nightmares of 20-across airplane seating in economy class like a ferry boat. Somehow, this A380 seems even worse. I’m not sure I would have been happy about the lavatory lines on a flight with nearly 1,000 people onboard.
And writing this makes me sad once again that I missed out on the Air France A380 before COVID-19 led to a premature retirement…
Would you have been willing to fly on an aircraft with 965 other passengers?