Airlines that fly Airbus’ giant double-decker A380 generally install between 400 and 500 seats on the plane in a three-class configuration. But now Emirates has unveiled a 617-passenger version, which will make it the world’s largest commercial aircraft in terms of passenger capacity.
Emirates made the big reveal at the Dubai Airshow this week. It will put the new version of the A380 into service December 1 on the Dubai-Copenhagen route.
How did Emirates manage to fit so many seats on the plane? Easy: It eliminated the spacious first class section, instead fitting the aircraft with just two classes: 58 flatbed seats in business class and 557 in economy. (The airline notes that even on this version, its A380s will still offer their trademark OnBoard Lounge.)
Related: How Emirates welcomes a new A380
Actually, 617 seats on an A380 isn’t all that much when you consider the aircraft’s technical specifications. The A380-800 is certified to carry as many as 853 passengers in an all-economy configuration (ouch!).
Emirates is a big believer in the A380 — it’s already the industry’s biggest A380 operator, with 68 of them in its fleet and firm orders for another 72.
The carrier’s new two-class A380 will have 101 more seats than what was previously the largest — Air France’s 516-seat version (which used to be 538 seats before the carrier installed premium economy seating). Here’s Wikipedia’s listing of airlines with A380s and their configurations.
As for the A380 with the least passenger capacity, Seatguru.com notes that Singapore Airlines has a version of the A380 outfitted with its new premium economy section that has as few as 379 total seats. Otherwise, Korean Air’s A380s have the fewest seats– 407 total. (Here’s Chris’s Trip Report from last fall about flying Korean’s A380 from Seoul to Atlanta.)
Have you flown on at A380 yet? What did you think?
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