On February 14, 2019, Airbus broke everyone’s hearts. The company announced that one of the most iconic aircraft of the 21st century would be no more, as the manufacturer would cease production in 2021 due to the lack of demand for the A380. Emirates Airlines, which owns the majority of the Superjumbos ever produced by Airbus, indicated that the size of the double-decker is not ideal to the current state of the market and opted for something more conventional in the form of 30 Airbus A350-900 and 40 Airbus A330-900neo as it replaced previously unfulfilled orders of the A380.
However, on April 1, 2020, Airbus reinstated hope that the A380 is well and alive. The Toulouse, France-based manufacturer announced a new aircraft in its lineup ‒ the Airbus A380ultra. The new aircraft, just like its now-unwanted brother, will be a true giant of the skies. Featuring an extra deck on top of the second deck of the double-decker Airbus A380, the A380ultra would be a triple-deck aircraft.
The one-of-a-kind aircraft will seat up to 1060 passengers or 880 in a typical three-class layout, with first-class passengers enjoying the best view from the third floor, while economy class passengers would be seated on the bottom floor, as they should sit “like the plebeians that they are,” according to the CEOs of European low-cost-carriers, already discussing whether to order the new triple-decker.
Nevertheless, the ingenuity of the aircraft won’t stop there. The Airbus A380ultra is set to have a very flexible configuration, including the fact that the third floor could be converted into such facilities as a movie theater, spa center, shopping mall, restaurant, gym, food court, offices, basketball arena and numerous other configurations that the manufacturer, definitely not the author of the article, was not able to mention.
The Airbus A380ultra would be powered by four General Electric GE9X engines, which were specifically developed for the Boeing 777X. When asked why the GE9X engine was made available for the new A380, the engine-maker, in its best impression of Mr. Krabs, responded with “money.”
During the press announcement, airport representatives from around the world released a collective sigh as the presentation of the A380ultra concluded.
Emirates indicated that it would be the launch customer of the aircraft, making an initial order for 100 of the jets.
The type is set to be introduced in 2023, just a year later when the Dubai-based airline is supposed to start flying Concorde on some of its premium routes from Dubai International Airport (DXB).
While over the past few months the state of the aviation industry has deteriorated into an unprecedented crisis, such occasions as April Fools’ allows the tension to simmer down. After all, laughter heals. The article was not meant to offend or cause harm to anyone.