A380 plus: Airbus unveils upgraded 'superjumbo' at Paris Airshow

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Emirates is in talks with Airbus about a proposed enhanced A380, the "A380plus", which is being unveiled at the Paris Airshow tomorrow (Monday).

The 15-foot extensions, together with other wing refinements, will boost efficiency by as much 4 percent, Airbus said in a statement Sunday, dubbing the upgraded aircraft the "A380plus".

Airbus has struggled to attract new customers for its superjumbo aircraft, with 13 commercial carriers now operating the A380, and Japanese airline ANA set to take delivery of its first superjumbo in 2019.

In addition to new winglets, the aircraft will have an increased maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of 578 tons, up three tons from the current MTOW of the aircraft.

His arrival was followed by a flypast by the world's largest passenger plane, the Airbus A380, and France's aerial display team.

Overall, the changes will lead to a 13 per cent reduction in cost per seat compared with the current A380, Airbus said.

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People familiar with the matter said on Sunday Airbus was also close to clinching a roughly $5 billion deal with low-priced carrier Viva Air Peru.

The provisionally dubbed A380-Plus makeover would add 40-50 seats to increase the standard interior's capacity to more than 600 seats which would help airlines reduce their costs per passenger.

John Leahy, Airbus chief operating officer, customers, explained: "The A380plus is an efficient way to offer even better economics and improved operational performance at the same time".

The airplane will have a new wing design that aims to improve aerodynamics and the cabin will be fitted with 80 extra seats "with no compromise on comfort".

As the Paris Air Show begins on June 19, it will be interesting to see if any carriers place orders for the new aircraft. Airbus Commercial Aircraft President Fabrice Bregier said earlier this month that there was clearly "no business case" for the more extensive changes that would have involved.

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