big jet
The bowling alley is on the lower deck

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Casinos, gyms and double beds – but will enough airlines get on board? Seems like a ludicrous plane from Airbus Industries… can you spell Titanic? But I’m sure it’s more comfy than a 737.

Airports have had to invest heavily in improvements. Heathrow’s operator, BAA, is spending Ł450m on widening its taxiways, strengthening its runways and building bigger piers for embarking passengers.

Virgin’s chairman, Sir Richard Branson, said that with casinos and private double beds on board, customers on his superjumbos would have “two chances to get lucky”.


The superjumbo is 12% more fuel-efficient than an ordinary jumbo jet and can fly 10% further.

· Emirates Airlines is the biggest customer to date, with an order for 45 superjumbos under a plan to develop Dubai as an international travel hub.

· The first European airline to operate the A380 will be Air France, which intends to use the superjumbo for services from Paris to New York and Montreal in summer 2007.

· The first flight will be operated by Singapore Airlines in 2006 between London, Singapore and Sydney.

· Airbus is considering making a “stretch” version of the plane, which could carry as many as 1,000 passengers.

related link:
History of the design

Lengthwise, it would nearly stretch from goal line to goal line of a football field while its wing tips would hang well beyond the sidelines. Three full decks will run along the entire length of the plane. Upper and main decks will serve as passenger areas, and will be connected by a grand staircase near the front of the plane and by another smaller staircase at the back. Although the lower deck will be reserved primarily for cargo, it could be outfitted for special passenger uses such as sleeper cabins, business centers or even child care service.

Buy a model here

  1. Ed Campbell says:

    The article says “well-short” of break even; but, with the requisite number being 250 — and they had orders for 149 in the books on opening day — that’s nothing to grump about at all.

    Most corporations could take numbers like that straight to the bank.

  2. N says:

    “two chances to get lucky”

    That depends, are they supplying the prostitutes as well?

    Any idea how much a ride in one of these things will cost? I mean, how many people could afford it? If it’s so big, and holds so many, they’re counting on an awful lot of rich people flying. (And I thought that first and business class seating was being scaled back because no one bought it.)

  3. Wesley Allen says:

    From the information site:

    “length 73m (239ft 6in)”

    That’s not quite “from goal line to goal line of a football field.” I’m not going to buy one now.

  4. Ima Fish says:

    Gee, I wonder if ABC will create a new show: “The Love Plane.”

  5. david says:

    Why doesn’t someone just build a bloody bridge from New York to London. The mile high club will be usurped by the back seat club.

    Here’s an airline joke in case you get friendly with a sexy flight attendant:

    What’s the difference between a condom and a cockpit?

    (You can only fit one prick into a condom)

  6. Frank Baird says:

    “Emirates Airlines is the biggest customer to date, with an order for 45 superjumbos under a plan to develop Dubai as an international travel hub”

    45 superjumbos flying through muslim airspace. What could possibly go wrong?

  7. Mike T. says:

    Just wait until the first one goes down. That will put the plane, maybe airbus, and maybe the carrier out of business.

  8. Rick Shahovskoy says:

    Airports are already complaining about 747s and other widebodies in that the mob enplaning and deplaning is a real problem.
    When this thing does its thing any place it lands will be total chaos at any existing terminal according to those I’ve spoken to.
    Dealing with the crush of passengers from one of these things will be like 10 pounds of you-know-what in a 5 pound bag.

  9. Frank IBC says:

    Mike T. –

    Damn, that’s a scary thought, which will probably have the result you suggest. Just ask McDonnell/Douglas, and Air France re the Concorde.

    Or even worse, a Tenerife-style crash between two of them. I’m guessing that their maneuverability on the ground will not be the greatest, and this could cause serious problems.

  10. Hank C says:

    I remember how they predicted that the second deck on the 747 would have a nightclub, gyms, day care, etc.

    But, instead, they just jammed as many seats in there as possible. I predict that this new Airbus won’t be any different — we’ll be jammed in their like a subway on rush hour.

    I’ll fly on them, no doubt, but I shutter to think of the carnage when one of those flying cattle cars goes down.


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