Airbus has developed a new, slimmer staircase for its A380 super jumbo to allow for more seats in its latest effort to improve sales of the world's largest airliner.
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Reuters reported last month that Airbus was considering doing away with the front "grand staircase" to lower the double-decker's operating costs and boost fuel efficiency.
Airbus cabin marketing executive Ingo Wuggetzer said that introducing a slimmer stairway instead of the double staircase would generate enough space to add 20 extra seats.
Meanwhile, changing the shape of the rounded stairway at the back to a square one would provide further space, for 14 more passengers plus two food trolleys.
"There's a lot more revenue generation potential," Wuggetzer said at the Aircraft Interiors fair in Hamburg on Tuesday.
The changes are available as a retrofit to existing A380s or as options on new jets, Wuggetzer said, adding that Airbus had customers "interested and signed" for some of the elements.
If other space-saving changes such as a new cabin crew rest compartment and a new seat layout are taken into consideration, airlines can add up to 80 more seats, Airbus said.
Airbus recently shelved plans for a bolder upgrade of the A380, involving new engines, due to cost. It also announced plans to cut output to one a month due to poor sales.
Also seeking to drive interest in the A380, Airbus last month teamed up with content platform Routehappy to provide airlines Lufthansa , Emirates [EMIRA.UL], Cathay Pacific <0293.HK> and Singapore Airlines with content such as pictures and virtual tours for their websites that shows potential passengers the attributes of A380 and A350 aircraft. 0293.HK>
(Reporting by Victoria Bryan; editing by Alexander Smith)