Airbus has presented a development study for 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 optimized A380 maintenance program and the enhanced cabin features first shown at Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in April, the overall benefit is a 13% cost per seat reduction versus today’s A380, according to press release issued by Airbus.

John Leahy, Airbus COO Customers, explains: “The A380plus is an efficient way to offer even better economics and improved operational performance at the same time.”  John adds: “It is a new step for our iconic aircraft to best serve worldwide fast-growing traffic and the evolving needs of the A380 customers. The A380 is well-proven as the solution to increasing congestion at large airports, and in offering a unique, passenger-preferred experience.”

The new winglets measure approximately 4.7 meters in height.  It is designed to improve aerodynamics and reduce drag.

The optimized cabin layout based on the ‘cabin enablers’ presented at Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX), 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.

497 passengers is the airline’s average capacity of the A380s currently in operation today – which are consistently attracting above-average passenger load factors. With all A380 cabin enablers, the A380 average seat count would move from 497 to 575 in four classes, and generate significantly more revenue for airlines.

The A380plus will have an increased maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 578 tons.

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.

The A380 is the world’s largest, most spacious airliner that offers passengers the smoothest, quietest and most comfortable ride.  With two full widebody decks, offering widest seats, wide aisles and more floor space, the A380 has the unique capability to generate revenue, stimulate traffic and attract the flying public, who can now specifically select the A380 when booking a flight via the web site.  Over 170 million passengers have already enjoyed the experience of flying on board an A380 today.  Every two minutes, an A380 reportedly takes off or lands somewhere in the world.

As of May 2017, Airbus had received 317 firm orders and delivered 213 aircraft; Emirates is the biggest A380 customer with 142 ordered of which 97 have been delivered.