A380 service expands as the 21st century flagship marks its first year of operations
The A380 has set new standards for passenger comfort during its initial year of revenue airline service, providing reliable long-range flights to destinations in Singapore, Australia, Japan, the United Arab Emirates, England and the United States.
On today's first anniversary of the A380's entry in service, a total of nine A380s are now in the fleets of Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Qantas. Singapore Airlines introduced A380 operations on 25 October 2007, and currently has a total of six aircraft. This was followed by Emirates of the United Arab Emirates, which started flights in August 2008 and has two A380s in its inventory. Qantas inaugurated service earlier this month with the Australian-based carrier's first-delivered A380.
All three airlines have chosen cabin layouts that benefit from the A380's spacious two main decks and its new technology, and which allow operators to offer high levels of service for all passengers.
Singapore Airlines' A380 layout has a total of 471 seats in three classes of service. The Singapore Airlines Suites - offered exclusively on the A380 - provide a private space with its largest seat ever: an armchair with adjustable headrest and armrests. Included in the suite is a stand-alone bed, topped off with a turn-down service, fine linen and full-sized pillows.
In Singapore Airlines' New Business Class, the A380 seats are the widest in their category, with each leather seat unfolding to the largest full-flat bed of its type. Singapore Airlines' New Economy Class has roomier seats and the widest choice of on-demand entertainment options, presented on a 10.6-inch-wide LCD screen.
The Emirates A380 configuration is with a 14-seat First Class cabin, 76 seats in Business Class and a 399-seat Economy Class. This arrangement includes the First Class Shower Spa: two fully-equipped bathrooms in its First Class cabins with shower facilities. The A380 also has an Emirates Onboard Lounge in the Business Class cabin for use by both First and Business Class passengers, which is designed to make travellers feel like they are in their own executive club. Another First Class social area and bar is located at the front of the upper deck.
In Emirates' A380 Economy Class cabin, straight walls give the impression of increased spaciousness, and this feature - combined with an advanced mood lighting system and the Airbus 21st century jetliner's noticeably quieter cabin - works to combat the effects of jetlag.
Qantas' A380 is configured with 450 seats in four cabins: 14 in First Class, 72 in Business Class, 32 in Premium Economy and 332 in Economy Class. The 14 single private suites in First Class feature a 17-inch wide-screen LCD video monitor, a unique touch-screen control unit, and a seat that swivels into a comfortable armchair and a fully flat, extra long and wide bed.
The next generation of Qantas' award-winning Business Class Skybed sleeper seat offers an extra-long, fully lie-flat bed with ergonomically-enhanced cushioning, a larger in-arm entertainment screen, additional storage options and more privacy. Qantas' Premium Economy seats have fully adjustable, in-arm digital widescreen television monitors. A self-service bar is dedicated to the upper-deck Premium Economy cabin. For Economy Class, the A380's seats feature a sliding base that moves with the seatback to create a more comfortable, ergonomically-tested position to aid sleep and eliminate pressure points, along with a foot net to stop sliding during sleep.