Qantas grows A380 seat capacity by 7.5%

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Qantas is increasing the passenger capacity of its Airbus A380 fleet with more economy class seats while the business class section is being cut back.

Lufthansa Technik Philippines (LTP) has completed the first of the airline's 12 A380s, which will all be sent to the Manila-based MRO provider for interior reconfiguration.

The number of business class seats in the forward part of the upper deck is being reduced from 72 in the existing layout to 64, while the number of economy class seats - which were thus far located on the main deck only - increased from 332 to 371.

The first class accommodation in the forward part of the main deck remains unchanged at 14 seats, while the number of premium economy seats - thus far in the rear part of the upper deck - grows slightly from 32 to 35 seats.

Total seat capacity of the A380 aircraft increases 7.5% from 450 to 484.

While most space was won on the upper deck, economy class - which has thus far been on the main deck - has seen the biggest increase. However, Qantas was not immediately available to specify the new seat allocation and clarify whether the cabins of other types will also be reconfigured.

LTP says it is the first MRO provider to change the cabin layout of an A380. The work is being combined with wing-rib inspections and necessary, temporary repairs.

The project comes about a year after the MRO company opened its A380 hangar. LTP says it is preparing base maintenance capability for A380s and wants to focus particularly on C checks.

Staff has undergone training at majority parent Lufthansa Technik and participated in C checks on A380 aircraft in Frankfurt, the company adds. However, engineers from Qantas and Airbus have also been seconded for the project to Manila.