Although it is configured to handle 555 passengers on two decks in three separate class arrangements, the A380 has a lower deck reserved for cargo. Freight capacity is 38 LD3 cargo containers or 13 pallets. There was an A380 freighter designed but because of delays Airbus had experienced in producing the plane, its cargo customers had cancelled their orders. The last customer had been UPS that had placed a $2.8 billion order with Airbus but withdrew that order earlier this year.
Despite the setback for the freighter version, there still remain orders for 185 A380s from 15 customers. As they are produced more planes will be going to Singapore Airlines as well as Emirates and Quantas.
The plane employs advanced materials and systems that are combined with leading edge aerodynamics and new engines. Four Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines mean that less runway length is needed and makes the A380 compatible with most of the world’s airports. Costs to operate the long-range plane are claimed to be 20% lower than previous large aircraft. The A380’s range is 8,000 nautical miles. Additionally the engines run quietly and clean with emission levels within current and future governmental environmental requirements.