Boost network connections. Optimise your hub. Capture more traffic.
Airline industry traffic growth is set to continue, with much of this development concentrated in the wide range of markets the A380 was designed to serve: hub-to-hub connections on the highest-yield routes between rapidly expanding megacities. Many of these airports are overcrowded and struggle to fulfil airline demand for movements at peak times – making slots a highly valuable resource. With 60 per cent more capacity per slot, the A380 enables operators to hit the “sweet spot” by replacing multiple flights of smaller aircraft with one optimised, service; one flight at the right time, the right size and in the right place.
By using the A380’s capacity to introduce 60 per cent more seats per flight on key high-density routes, the jetliner is a proven money-maker for its operators. The extra capacity offered by the A380 on the “strongest” flight of the day, draws more traffic and captures higher yields. A single A380 operation allows the retention of the same number of high-revenue-generating seats in the premium-class cabins while releasing an unused slot for other destinations. Airlines can gain a revenue boost approximately equivalent to a 50 per cent reduction in fuel burn through applying this market-matched cabin segmentation and the latest cabin innovations.
Boosting capacity on key trunk routes has wide reaching beneficial network effects by unblocking direct and connecting traffic. Furthermore, A380 routings demonstrate a superior yield, capturing the best quality traffic in a given market 80 per cent of the time. The A380 allows airlines to grow their markets, increase their market share and control their fares as a result.
Airbus is studying an enhanced A380, the “A380plus”. The study includes aerodynamic improvements in particular new, large winglets and other wing refinements that allow for up to 4% fuel burn savings. Added to an optimised A380 maintenance programme and the enhanced cabin features, the overall benefit is a 13% cost per seat reduction versus today’s A380.
The new winglets measure approximately 4,7 metres in height (an uplet of 3.5m, and a downlet of 1,2m). It is designed to improve aerodynamics and reduce drag.
The optimised cabin layout allows up to 80 additional seats with no compromise on comfort: redesigned stairs, a combined crew- rest compartment, sidewall stowage removal, a new 9-abreast seat configuration in premium economy and 11-abreast in economy.
The A380plus will have an increased maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 578 tonnes providing the flexibility of carrying up to80 more passengers over today’s range (8,200nm), or flying 300nm further.
The A380plus features longer maintenance check intervals, a reduced six-year check downtime, and systems improvements, which will reduce maintenance costs and increase aircraft availability.