The Highest Capacity Plane Ever Will Start Flying Later This Year

Filed Under: Emirates

Late last year I wrote about how Emirates announced that they would introduce two cabin A380s in 2015.

While the A380 is already the highest capacity jet out there, Emirates will be taking capacity to new heights (no pun intended), as they’ll be modifying the configurations of some of the new A380s they take delivery of.

Emirates A380

Emirates has already taken delivery of roughly half of the 120 A380s they have on order, and they don’t plan on reconfiguring any of their current A380s to remove first class.

Anyway, it looks like we finally have some more information regarding the two cabin A380s.

Via AusBT:

It’s believed the business class cabin will be downsized from 76 seats to just 58, with a whopping 557 passengers in economy, although the business class bar on the upper deck will remain.

Emirates president Tim Clark confirmed the move at a press conference in Copenhagen today, where he announced that the first of the two-class A380s would debut on the Dubai-Copenhagen route from December 1.

So Emirates’ two cabin A380s will feature a total of 615 seats, 58 of which will be in business class. And the first A380 should go into service as of December 1, 2015… to Copenhagen?!

Emirates A380 business class cabin

I’m really surprised that Emirates would send a two cabin A380 to Copenhagen, of all places. You’d expect two cabin A380s on high frequency, consistently full routes which are already served by A380s, as opposed to destinations which are presently served by a single daily 777.

Long term I’d expect that Emirates will send their two cabin A380s to Bangkok, Delhi, Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai, Singapore, etc.

Bottom line

It looks like the densest A380 out there really, truly is happening soon. It’s crazy to think that it will carry 600+ passengers. On the plus side, in theory service in business class should be even better, given that it’s a smaller cabin. And fortunately they’re also retaining the bar, which is one of my favorite amenities on the plane.

Emirates A380 business class bar

I’m also curious to see what Emirates places at the front of the upper deck, given that there’s quite a bit of “wasted space” up there due to the curvature of the plane, which is where the two first class shower suites are presently located.

Emirates A380 first class shower

  1. I am also surprised with CPH as the first destination.
    I hope they have something kid friendly to replace those showers in that area. Traveling with kids in longhaul flights can be stressful and having a playground of sorts may help. Who knows though!
    I really wonder whether all these a380s fly at even 80% capacity. If these huge birds fly at 50%, then flying longhaul in economy wouldn’t be that bad.

    I thought Transaero was planning a denser a380? Or has that plan been axed due to the weak Ruble?

  2. It’s going to be miserable to be the last pax off that plane and having to go through immigration/customs/security.

  3. It is hard to compete with SAS in Sweden. Especially SAS is the preferred partner of many Sweden companies. However, it is almost impossible to remove Delhi route. India is one of the most important markets of Emirates (Air India is like a clown and Jet it is not too much better) There are also many rich Indians in UAE, Europe and U.S. (and they are happy to pay first class tickets on their own)
    Southeast is also a market Emirates can stand out.
    I think Emirates adjust its equipment based on the importance of that market.
    I also think it is possible to put their aircrafts to Chinese market , because strong demands of economy classes in this market ( emirates is one of the major operator on China – Africa routes)

  4. Wow, 2-class to CPH, that’s just crazy. There simply is not enough demand to fill that plane! On the other hand, they have to fly A380 to some strange places, with so many in the fleet already, and more coming on line.

  5. Trying to kill/out compete Norwegian Long Haul?

    Seems to be a lot of offers out of Scandinavia on Flyertalk premium fares forum. Among others QR doing CPH-DOH-BKK in I class for 1165€ and to SYD for 1926

    Lots of leisure traffic out off Scandinavia, but little demand for first?

    Busiest long haul route out of CPH was NYC with just under 350K passenger next year, next after that is Dubai with 257K and BKK with 254K

  6. I’m guessing the bar will have to be in the front, perhaps somehow making use of the shower space?

    Wouldn’t make sense to keep it at back if economy is there and wouldn’t make sense to out business class behind economy on the upper deck (or maybe they would?)

  7. Wasn’t Air Austral going to have an all economy A380 with something like 800 seats? Or did the cancel the order?

  8. Scandinavian countries have a very entrenched “egalitarian” mentality. Just look how other airlines operate in the market: TG for instance operates the only planes in their fleet that have premium economy to Scandinavian countries. The “premium economy” seats are literally the second half of the Royal Silk (business) cabin, with the same lie-flat seats as they have in business. Not really surprised Emirates, who has taken to flying a380s to just about every destination they fly to, has tried to appease this market. Wouldn’t be surprised to see ARN or Oslo next to have one of these 2-class EK whales.

  9. You know, the scandinavian market is big for EK and QR, its a hard competition. The scandinavian market is also not that big in F and C, so more Y would make sense.

  10. @ Cjk

    It´s not hard to compete with SAS, especially on long haul routes, both QR and EK is very big here in Scandinavia with cheep tickets to Asia.

  11. Lucky… Emirates has twice 777 daily from Copenhagen during winter season, lot’s of scandis going to sunnier places. Emirates have focused on Cph since they started flights to Scandinavia, while Qatar went with Stockholm and has at the moment twice daily three days per week. Lord factors in economy are usually close to full. So actually not that surprising.

  12. I guess Manila is a good destination for that bi-class A380. Emirates used to serve MNL with bi-class B777-300ER 3X a day – it’s now just 2X daily. Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific said that the 3rd flight was unfair. They even accused Emirates of influencing government regulators to have another air talk to increase capacity between Philippines and UAE. If that materializes, Emirates will mount additional flight. MNL doesn’t have the infrastructure to accommodate an A380. However, when Emirates transferred its operations from Terminal 1 to 3, they deployed an A380 to mark the event.

    More than 700,000 Filipinos live in the UAE, of which 450,000 live in Dubai. When they go home for a vacation, employers pay for their airfare. It’s no brainer to choose Emirates over PALExpress and Cebu Pacific – both LCC’s. PR is now servicing the said route, taken from PALExpress. Also, Emirates would like to capture the small but steadily growing first class travelers. At present, these people would be more likely to take CX or SQ.

  13. A380 domestic routes in China & Japan are just shy of 700 passengers! Fly domestic economy and long for the room of a LLC. They use 4 gates to board 2 on each level and boarding is 20 minutes!

  14. Wonderful! Sales are a comin to CPH!! They’ll need huge discounts to attract connecting pax to cph

  15. @R_Mundo

    TG only sells Y+ on flight to CPH and ARN with their 777-300 with 2-3-2 angle flats bad.

    And on Expedia when you press seat preview it comes up with the Y cabin, not the back of the J cabin?

    The OSL route is served by a 777-300ER with Luckys favorite 1-2-1 seat config and TG does not sell Y+ on this flight. Remember reading that a lot of the premium traffic out of CPH to SIN is driven by the Norwegian shipping and oil industry, but not enough Y passengers out of OSL that airlines can shift flight there.

    While there may be some “egalitarian” thing going on, it’s also comes down to lots companies requiring their employees to fly Y to save money and the airlines inventing Y+ get back lost revenue. Longhaul Y+ is in most cases seem to a very bad deal for the passenger when it comes to the difference in cost to J, great for the passenger for upgrading with miles if somebody else (their employer) picks up the Y+ fare.

    Wonder how long it’s before companies catch up and start blocking employes from flying Y+? And how soon airlines would drop Y+?

    Also part of the “egalitarian” thing that leads to less premium traffic out of Scandinavia is there is much lower differences in wages from low to high when taxes are factored in, somebody that have 200K USD a year would expect to pay close to 50% taxes. So not that many people as a % of the population can afford to fly J or F for leisure as in the US or the UK or even Germany, but still have enough money and to take long holidays in the sun. Hence the Y heavy aircraft.

    And the final nail in the coffin for premium travel is not having the credit card bonus offers that you get in the US.

  16. @ Duncan — Which A380 has that kind of capacity? The only Chinese carrier with an A380 is China Southern, and it doesn’t have anywhere close to 700 seats.

  17. @travelista

    Have you checked the premium fares tread on Flyertalk lately? Sales have already come to Scandinavia

  18. It was a matter of time that these a380 get denser seating. Look at the 747, DC-10. They all slowly but surely got more and more seats squeezed in – does anyone else remember the bad mouthing BA took when they actually removed 2 exit doors on the main cabin of their 747 to put more seats in?

    What I want to know though is when are are EK going to standardise their J seating across all longhaul fleet as still having angled seats in 777 fleet is embarrassing and makes me chose another carrier every time i see them in a route.

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