A380 launch customer Singapore Airlines has become the first airline to reveal detailed cabin configuration data for the ultra-large airliner. The seating diagram reveals that much of the upper deck will be used for business class, and indicates that each first-class passenger will be seated in an enclosed compartment.

Although SIA has said previously that its A380s will seat 471 passengers, the configuration had been a closely guarded secret until last week when detailed cabin drawings were published on its website. These reveal that the airline is using the increased capacity to grow its business and economy seating by around 20% and 30% respectively over its 747-400s, most of which seat 372-375 passengers (although some have as few as 359 seats).

SIA A380 cabin

The first-class seat count remains unchanged, with the space used to provide greater comfort. SIA confirms that each first-class passenger will have his or her own "Singapore Airlines Suite", and the planform diagram appears to show each seat enclosed by sliding divides similar to the "super first class" concept that Airbus has displayed in its Toulouse mock-up.

The 12 "Suites" seats will be on the main deck at the front of the aircraft and SIA says the carrier is not calling it first class as the new class "is in a league of its own" and will have a class code of 'R'.

A380 table SIA

The airline says that the business and economy classes will be similar to the upgraded classes that it introduced on its new Boeing 777-300ERs late last year. All 60 business-class seats are on the upper deck in one-two-one configuration, along with 88 of the 399 economy seats in a two-four-two layout. The main deck economy cabin is 10 abreast in a three-four-three layout.

SIA is due to be the first operator of the A380 when it takes delivery of the first of 19 that it has on firm order on 15 October. It will operate its first passenger flights over 25-26 October between Singapore and Sydney, although those will be special services for which seats have been sold through an auction for charity. Daily scheduled services between Singapore and Sydney start on 28 October, replacing one of the three daily 747-400 rotations.

Source: Flight International