The Airbus A380 first class concept cabins you never saw

By David Flynn, January 7 2017
The Airbus A380 first class concept cabins you never saw

So you reckon today's Airbus A380 first class suites are eye-catching? Take a look at some original concepts for the superjumbo, created before the A380's debut in 2007.

These mock-up cabins explored the possibilities of the A380's spacious cabin.

Tagged as "super first class", the large private suites with their sliding doors are similar in general concept to what we see on the A380s flown by Singapore Airlines, Emirates , Asiana and Etihad – although with a decided more futuristic bent.

Interestingly, each suite contained a separate reclining chair and a lounge which folded out into a bed – a design only realised earlier this year by in Etihad's new A380 first class Apartments (seen below).

The Airbus mock-ups also included a first class lounge space with two sofas and tables on the upper deck. 

The very front of the upper deck, on either side of the staircase to the main deck, saw a small lounge nook on one side and a "kingsize bathroom" which could incorporate a shower on the other side.

These are both elements which have been embraced in varying forms by all airlines flying the A380.

Business class was located downstairs at the front of the main deck, with Airbus showcasing what it called a "business class of the future."

This included pod-type lie-flat seats and a 1-2-1 design with direct aisle access for every passenger – traits which, barely seven years on, are now the norm for most business class cabins.

Also read: Airbus A380 'bar wars’ – Qatar, Emirates and Etihad explore social spaces at 40,000 feet

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David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

12 Jun 2013

Total posts 738

Some of these are dumb, but especially the ones that include a giant "lounge" space like the top image.

If you're travelling in a large group of people maybe it's nice to have a place you can all sit around and chat, but most F pax aren't travelling in a large group. If you're travelling alone, that lounge probably has negative value, because it increases the chance that there'll be a bunch of loud drunks nattering on just outside your door. Or maybe some rich bastard's spoiled kids playing. 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2015

Total posts 592

well actually SQ suites were the first...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1248

Now that's a suite to rival SQ's.  

EY's First Apartment configuration is slightly different as the bed is positioned perpendicular to the seat.  SQ and Airbus's concept both have the bed and the seat facing the direction of travel.


19 Sep 2013

Total posts 198

Another unusual 380 concept was Lufthansa's triple bunk, 2-deck high idea. The lower bunk converted to a 3-person seat for takeoff and landings. After takeoff, the other two passengers climbed up into their bunks for the rest of the trip.

29 Jul 2016

Total posts 1

Not a seatbelt in sight!

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1193

The "Airbus Business Class of the Future" is now passe.  No airline would now introduce a herringbone J class.  

All new J class are either reverse herringbone (example being B/E Aerospace Super Diamond as used by VA) or straight (example being Vantage XL as used by QF).  CX has ditched their herringbone and NZ and VS are both seen as having J class offerings with limited privacy and as being hard to look out the windows.

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