Want to travel with 614 of your closest friends but just couldn’t find a vehicle big enough? Well, Emirates Airlines now has a solution for you. During this week’s Dubai Airshow, it has unveiled a two class version of the huge Airbus A380. Unlike the three class version, this version has no First Class suites, but instead boasts 58 flatbed Business Class seats and 557 standard Economy Class seats – for a total of 615 seats. [By contrast and not far behind, the Boeing 747-8 can accommodate 600 seats in a two class configuration]. This new configuration A380 is the 68th A380 in the Emirates fleet. While it is unlikely that many of these will be sold to other airlines at the air show due to the industry trend to purchase smaller capacity planes, consider these A380 statistics from Emirates Airlines website:
- The Emirates A380 burns up to 20% less fuel per seat than its nearest competitor.
- This is the most significant advancement in reducing fuel consumption and emissions in four decades.
- Lower fuel burn means lower CO2 emissions. The Emirates A380 produces less than 75g of CO2 per passenger kilometer, almost half the European emissions target for cars manufactured from 2008 onwards.
- The A380 uses a range of lightweight materials that account for 25% of its structure.
- The Engine Alliance GP7200 engines comfortably meet the strict new ICAO [International Civil Aviation Organization] Stage Four noise-level standards.
- The Emirates fleet, including our A380s, has 30% better fuel efficiency than the ICAO global fleet average.
- Larger aircraft mean fewer takeoffs and landings [in passenger terms, this would be the equivalent of flying up to seven smaller aircraft types, for certain versions of the Emirates A380].
- Emirates continues to work closely with Airbus to further reduce the weight of future A380s.
- Emirates’ average fleet age is less than half that of many European airlines, meaning newer technology and efficiency breakthroughs characterize our aircraft.
Consider this: if the A380 800 was made with only a single class, it would have the capacity for 853 passengers. If you have a spare $318 million or so, you may consider purchasing one. Just be sure you have enough packets of peanuts to go around.