It was 13 years ago since the Airbus A380 entered service. Today, the «superjumbo» is used by numerous airlines across the world. A few of the First Class products on the A380 have raised the bar in the aviation industry. We have reviewed what these products offer.
The aviation industry has changed dramatically ever since the A380 first saw the light of day. Smaller and new types of long-range aircraft, such as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the Airbus A350, have become the preferred choice for airlines worldwide. Besides, these aircraft are relatively light, fuel-efficient and can be operated by significantly more airports than the A380.
Thai Airways’ Royal First Class is on the A380’s upper deck. 12 seats are divided into 3 rows, and the seat is converted into a 210 cm full flat-bed with a width of 67 cm – in other words, this is comparable to a regular bed. First Class passengers also have access to a spacious bathroom, which is excellent for when you put on the pyjamas before a good night’s sleep.
Air France’s A380 La Première product is both elegant and attractive. The airline’s A380 La Première consists of a total of 9 seats, which gives a very airy cabin. The entire airport experience is very special, and this includes everything from check-in, lounge and transport to and from the aircraft.
Qantas was early to fly the A380, whereby they launched their First Suite already back in 2008. Last year, the airline upgraded its First Class product on its 12 A380. Their First Class consists of a total of 14 seats on the aircraft’s lower deck, and the semi-open suites are converted to comfortable beds when they are fully reclined. The airline offers passengers luxurious bedding and sheepskin mattress for extra comfort.
Onboard the British Airways A380, First Class is also located on the lower deck, and the cabin is very stylish. The seats offers the first-class comfort, and of course, the service is also in line with this. The cabin consists of 14 seats in a 1-2-1 configuration. The seat can be extended into a 198 cm fully flat bed. High-quality bedding and mattress ensure passengers get a good night’s sleep.
Qatar Airways have a total of 8 seats in First Class on the A380’s upper deck. These extra-wide seats have a small partition, which can be raised between the seats to add privacy. After today’s standard, the seats do not fully reach the top level. However, the beds are very comfortable thanks to their generous length and width. Food, drink and service onboard are exceptional and maintain high-quality.
The First Class cabin onboard Lufthansa’s A380 is cleverly designed, stylish, but offers perhaps insufficient privacy as the layout of the seats creates a very airy atmosphere in the cabin. There are 8 seats in First Class, which provide a great sitting and sleeping comfort. There is plenty of room for storage of larger and smaller personal belongings. The service is well-thought-out and Lufthansa is striving for it to be a first-class experience right up to the smallest detail.
Emirates A380 suites offer a high degree of privacy. It is luxurious and the service is first-class. The choice of materials and the colour palette may not be the preferred choice for everyone, but each of us have our distinctive taste. There are privacy doors which can be closed, private minibar, makeup mirror, closet and much more. There are two shower suites and changing rooms, where passengers can try on the world’s first «moisturizing pyjamas».
Etihad’s second-best premium product – First Apartments are available on the airline’s A380 and some of their Boeing 787. These apartments include a large leather armchair, separate 208 cm bed, and your very own mini-bar. The product is less pricy than the company’s best product, The Residence. These suites have connecting doors which can be opened in case you are travelling with a companion.
Singapore Airlines best product is its First Suites. With only six of them, it ensures generous space for each passenger. The passengers will receive an extremely private flight, thanks to the high walls and sliding doors. Some of the suites can be remodelled to create a larger suite for couples travelling together, which creates a large and comfortable double bed. The suites also come with a comfortable armchair, which is reclinable and freely swivels. There is generous storage space in the new suites, and the closet can fit a cabin bag in addition to the passengers’ outwear clothing.
Japanese All Nippon Airways (ANA) offers a sophisticated First Class design onboard the airline’s Airbus A380. The Japanese minimalism and functionality are characterised throughout the total of 8 seats, which are divided into 2 rows. The first-class in-flight meals – either from the Japanese kitchen or more international dishes characterize the menu. A 32″-inch high-resolution display ensures that passengers entertainment is as good as it can get.
The Chinese based airline, China Southern, serves several destinations with its Airbus A380. Similar to other companies mentioned earlier, the First Class has 4 seats in length. The seat becomes a 203 cm long bed when fully-flat. The entertainment can be enjoyed on a 23″-inch screen, which in our view is on the smaller side in today’s world.
Korean Air’s First Class is placed on the lower deck, which creates an “airy” cabin. The bed in the 12 Kosmo suites is slightly over 2 meters. The entertainment can be enjoyed on a 24″-inch display.
Portuguese Hi Fly operates an Airbus A380, which they acquired from Singapore Airlines. The airline has kept Singapore Airlines’ original interior design in the aircraft.