Incredible designs show Airbus A380 converted into a ‘flying palace’ that never was

  • An Airbus A380 was set to be converted into a ‘flying palace’ 
  • Split across three levels, the plane would have had its own concert room and wellness spa
  • Unfortunately, the ambitious designs never came to fruition

Published on Jul 05, 2024 at 12:21 PM (UTC+4)
by Claire Reid

Last updated on Jul 05, 2024 at 7:28 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Tom Wood

Incredible design plans show how an Airbus A380 would have been converted into a ‘flying palace’. 

The huge commercial jet would have been completely transformed into a flash living space with 25 bedrooms, a concert room, and even an onboard ‘wellness room’ featuring a spa and marble bath. 

It really doesn’t get more luxurious than this, does it? 

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The Airbus A380 was set to become a ‘flying palace’

Usually, an A380 – the largest and most spacious passenger aircraft – has enough room for 868 passengers, but this high-end makeover would have left enough space for just 50 people. 

Access to the plane, which was designed to be split across three levels – would be via a glass lift that traveled through a spiral staircase. 

The A380’s cargo hold would become the first level of the plane and would have been split into two, with one half kitted out with a garage to carry flashy motors across the globe and the other containing the ‘wellness’ area with its spa, bathtub, and LED TVs placed into the floor.

Why not, right?

Up onto the second level, the designers introduced some of the plane’s 25 bedrooms, conference rooms, and a dedicated concert room with its own stage and baby grand piano. 

The master suite would be set on the third floor, which was accessed by a sweeping staircase – of course. 

In all, five suites were set to be placed on the third level, each with its own ensuite and king-size bed. There was also a communal area for guests to socialize in.  

“It is something very, very special”

The company behind the grand design Design Q said the project was quite unlike anything else out there. 

“It is something very, very special and there is nothing like it on the market yet,” Design Q co-founder Gary Doy told the Daily Mail in 2009.

“There is everything a billionaire could want.

“We are not trying to put a hotel in the air; it is tailored to the needs of flying and has unique features which fit into that.

“The Turkish bath is particularly spectacular, a steam room with marble, low lights and lots of spa treatments to choose from.”

The three-level Airbus was reportedly ordered by for Royal Highness Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Alsaud of Saudi Arabia – who was apparently happy to pay the $371 million (£300 million) price tag in 2007. 

However, fast-forward a couple of years, and for ‘unknown reasons’ the Prince never ended up taking ownership of the plane. 

The aircraft was sold to a commercial airline, and its swish makeover was never completed.

This is a real shame because we really fancied hopping onboard, as if we’d ever get the chance.

# Tags - Airplanes, Luxury


Claire Reid

Claire Reid is a journalist who hails from the UK but is now living in New Zealand. She began her career after graduating with a degree in Journalism from Liverpool John Moore’s University and has more than a decade of experience, writing for both local newspapers and national news sites. Across her career she's covered a wide variety of topics, including celebrity, cryptocurrency, politics, true crime and just about everything in between.