Airbus A380 Spotting Guide


The double-decked Airbus A380 is the world’s largest commercial aircraft flying today, with the capacity to carry 544 passengers in a comfortable four-class configuration, and up to 853 in a single-class configuration that provides wider seats than the competition.

The A380’s two decks offer 50% more floor surface than the next largest aircraft, allowing airlines a variety of cabin configurations.

Background and Development

In June of 1994, Airbus announced its plan to develop a very large airliner, designated the A3XX.

The resulting A380 has two full-length passenger levels, a main deck and an upper deck, which are connected by fixed stairs forward and aft.

The first A380, registered F-WWOW, was unveiled in Toulouse in January of 2005, and flew in April of 2005. Today, A380s are flown by members of all three major global airline alliances.

The first A380 was delivered to Singapore Airlines in October of 2007. Emirates was the second airline to receive the A380 and commenced service between Dubai and New York in August of 2008.

A total of 194 A380s have been built as of August 2016. The largest fleets of the A380 are operated by Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Qantas and Lufthansa.

Airbus A380 Spotting Tips

The A380 is easy to spot, with its two full-fuselage passenger decks, a bulbous nose, and four engines under the wings. Shown here is an Emirates Airbus A380.
The A380 is easy to spot, with its two full-fuselage passenger decks, a bulbous nose, and four engines under the wings. Shown here is an Emirates Airbus A380.

Singapore Airlines Airbus A380
Singapore Airlines Airbus A380