Airbus introduced the A380Plus at the 2017 Paris Air Show, with a number of improvements and a new seating configuration that enables 80 additional passengers. The most visible difference is the larger split winglet, which provides better aerodynamic efficiency.
A variety of improvements add up to a 4% lower fuel burn and a 13% lower cost per seat mile, according to Airbus projections, summarized in the Airbus chart below. Airbus also indicated that some of the A380Plus changes can be retrofit to existing aircraft. Does an expensive retrofit make sense for existing A380 operators? Can the A380plus compete more effectively with smaller new technology wide-bodies, in particular the Airbus A350-1000, Boeing 787-10, and the re-engined Boeing 777-9. Let’s take a look at the comparative economics for each type, with both the existing A380 and A380Plus, each in a typical four class configuration, with a three-class configuration for the smaller types.
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