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Airbus has been cleared by EASA to increase its A350-1000 maximum seating capacity from 440 up to 480 through the installation of modified Type A+ exit.
The permission to develop a new emergency exit system with a dual-lane evacuation slide on all four pairs of doors was granted by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
Airbus had submitted its request for an increased capacity to the EASA in June, 2019, nevertheless, after the evaluation regulatory authority said that the existing Type A emergency exits were not suitable for a larger amount of passengers. Thus, the new scheme of Type A+ exit has been developed.
The increased capacity with modified exits does not impact safety. However, an additional cabin crew member will be required to operate at each installed pair of Type A+ exits.
This increase provides Airbus, especially the A350-1000 program, with additional advantages and enhanced competitiveness against its rival Boeing 787 or 777X.