Airbus is gauging interest in a possible 400-seat version of its long range two-engine A350 passenger jet. Of course, Airbus currently makes the largest passenger plane in the world, the A380. This four-engine, double-decker giant can hold up to 544 people in a four-class layout and as many as 853 in a single-class setup.
However, airlines have been focused on smaller, more fuel efficient airplanes in recent years. Dropping oil prices have helped interest in jumbo jets a little bit, but the Boeing 747 and Airbus A380 are not earning as many orders as more efficient two-engine jets, which are now at the top of most commercial carriers’ to-order lists.
Trying to give airlines what they want
This is the reason why Airbus is looking seriously at an updated version of the two-engine A350. The idea of adding capacity to more-fuel-efficient models has already proven successful for the French plane-maker's main competitor, Boeing. Airbus' rival has gotten a fair bit of interest for its 777X models, which include both the 777-8 and the 777-9. The 777-9 has a seating capacity of 406. The 9's large number of seats and fuel efficient design will allow airlines to get a good cost-per-seat ratio.