Emirates, the Dubai-based airline that owns 26 Airbus A380s, the largest passenger jet in the world, says it would be interested in an even larger plane, if someone built it.
“I think the size we would look at right now is the treble aircraft configuration that goes from 500 to 800 passengers,” Emirates Executive Vice President of Engineering and Operation Adel Al Redha told Arabian Business.
Treble aircraft, meaning three levels.
Emirates has already ordered 64 double-decker A380s in addition to the 26 in its fleet. At its maximum capacity, the "Superjumbo" has room for more than 800, using a single-class layout that comes at the expense of profitable business and first class tickets. It usually seats around 500.
Why the interest in such an enormous aircraft? "It is always difficult to get slots in any international airport today…The only way to fill your need is to operate that kind of aircraft," Al Redha said.
He noted that it's unlikely a triple-decker plane will arrive in the market in the next ten years. Among the many challenges would be finding runways long enough to allow such a large plane to land and take off, and finding a way to limit fuel consumed by the theoretical aircraft.