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Monday, August 15, 2011

The Airbus A380

The Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger plane, is turning heads these days as as the sixth airline to use this “superjumbo” jet has debuted its cabin designs and added new routes. 

The L.A. Times has done a round-up of how the airlines (Korean Air, Qantas Airways, Air France, Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa and Emirates) have divvied up the interiors with design choices that range from from “Ah, that’s smart” (like the kitty-corner setup in Emirates’ business class or the changing rooms in the first class section of Air France) to “mindbogglingly extravagant” (Singapore Airlines’ enclosed first class cabins;  Korean Air’s swanky bars).   

Cross-section of an
A380's economy section.
2011 marks the A380's fifth year of service. Its success has been attributed to high fuel efficiency and on-board comfort, most notably the relative quietness in the cabin compared to other aircraft, which helps reduce travel fatigue. 

While the double-decker A380 can seat up to 853 passengers, a count of 525 is more typical, with more space being allotted to first and business class passengers. Of course, top-dollar tickets get the best perks, but economy-class passengers have more extras in the A380 than in any other plane. Larger entertainment selections, USB ports, and ergonomically designed seats add some comfort to the long-haul flights that the A380 services.

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