HAMBURG, April 4 (Reuters) - 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
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, Cathay
Pacific 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.
(Reporting by Victoria Bryan; editing by Alexander Smith)