If you have always wanted to feel like a royalty as you walk majestically from the lower deck to the upper deck of the Airbus A380, you are strongly advised to do so now, while you still can.
Airbus is about to make the A380's forward staircase 'less majestic' as it plans to relocate and redesign it in an effort to pack in more seats for the airlines to increase efficiency and drive up revenue.
Airbus on Tuesday, at the ongoing Aircraft Interior Expo in Hamburg, Germany presented “New Forward Stairs” (NFS), which is the latest in the manufacturer's effort to make its flagship A380 more efficient against the backdrop of diminishing interest in the super jumbo.
According to Airbus, NFS will involve relocating 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, creating room for up to 20 additional passengers.
This is what the redesigned and relocated forward staircase will look like.
The other things Airbus plans to do to increase seat count on the A380 include offering 11-abreast 3-5-3 economy layout on the main-deck and 9-abreast Premium Economy on the main deck.
Others are is moved down the existing flight-crew-rest and combining it with the cabin crew rest on the lower deck, redesigning the rear-stair from a spiral agreement to a straight/square one, and removal of the upper-deck sidewall stowage.
Together with the New Forward Stairs, the cabin enhancements is expected to result in 80 additional seats which would bring airlines significant additional revenues.
Currently, the average capacity for the Airbus A380 is 497 passengers but with the A380 cabin enablers, the A380 seat count would move to 575 in four classes, generating more revenue for airlines.
In the recent years, Airbus A380 has been struggling with diminishing interests and orders among airlines. To date, there are 317 firm orders, 208 of which have been delivered with 92 delivered to Emirates alone.
Will these cabin modifications be enough to make the Airbus A380 receive more orders? Only time will tell.
Chidozie Uzoezie is an aviation enthusiast, a frequent flyer, a freelance writer and a travel blogger. He is the editor and the publisher of The Afritraveller. He blogs and writes mostly about aviation, air travel and airlines products and services, especially with respect to passenger experience, #PaxEx. He is also the creator and the admin of the African Aviation Group on Facebook.