Airbus A380: Where the superjumbo is flying as aviation returns

(CNN) — When Airbus introduced plans to stop manufacturing of its A380 plane again in 2019, heartbroken aviation followers discovered solace in the truth that the superjumbo wasn’t set to cease flying anytime quickly.

Production on this much-loved plane was attributable to proceed for an additional couple years, and loads of airways had energetic A380s of their fleet.

But quick ahead a 12 months, and the A380’s hefty dimension and steep operational prices had no place within the pandemic’s minimal, cost-efficient worldwide flight schedules.

Thanks to Covid-19, many of the world’s A380 fleet had been grounded.

Lufthansa’s choice to park its A380 changed into the German service completely retiring the superjumbos. The final A380 emblazoned with Air France livery took its last flight. It was more and more unclear whether or not the A380 would survive the shutdown.

But whereas the A380s days are undoubtedly numbered, some airways have introduced plans to get the plane again within the air. Singapore Airlines might be reinstating the A380 on November 2021 flights to London, the identical month British Airways might be flying superjumbos from the UK to Europe.

If you are still hoping to expertise the A380’s memorably spacious inside and quiet inflight expertise earlier than the aircraft’s a factor of the previous, here is our round-up of airline A380 routes to take a look at.

Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines has 12 A380s in its fleet.

Singapore Airlines has 12 A380s in its fleet.

Roslan Rahman/AFP/Getty Images

The A380’s first ever industrial voyage again in 2007 was through Singapore Airlines, touring from Singapore to Sydney.

Pre-pandemic, Singapore Airlines had 17 A380s. They had been all grounded when Covid-19 hit, and in November 2020 the airline introduced plans to chop its superjumbo fleet right down to 12.

Now Singapore Airlines has revealed plans to return a few of its A380s to the skies.

Siva Govindasamy, Singapore Airlines’ world public affairs head mentioned that Singapore Airlines’ acknowledges the A380s enduring attraction for passengers, and that is partly why the airline’s returning the plane to rotation.

“The A380 is a wonderful aircraft,” he mentioned. “Some people just book the A380 specifically to fly on it.”

Govindasamy added that it makes financial sense to return the A380 to the London to Singapore path, because the plane’s seat density lends itself properly to routes the place airport slots are restricted.

The choice can also be a part of Singapore Airlines’ “premium positioning,” as Govindasamy places it.

“From a brand perspective, the A380 really ticks a lot of boxes for us operating it,” he mentioned.

As for reinstating the A380 for locations past London, Govindasamy mentioned Singapore Airlines is at the moment contemplating different routes that might be properly served by the superjumbo.

“We’ll continue to monitor this very closely over the next couple of weeks and months before making that decision,” he mentioned, including that returning the A380 to its authentic Singapore to Sydney route is one thing the airline “will not say no to.”

Nine of Singapore Airlines’ A380s have undergone a refit and three are within the makeover course of. Travelers forking out on top notch on the reinstated London to Singapore route will have the ability to benefit from the airline’s swanky suites.

Choice route: London to Singapore — be one of many first to expertise the return of Singapore Airlines’ A380s

British Airways

British Airways' A380s are returning to the skies this year.

British Airways’ A380s are returning to the skies this 12 months.

Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto through Getty Images

After months of transatlantic journey restrictions, the US/UK journey hall is about to reopen in November and BA is upping its flight schedule accordingly.

Travelers will have the ability to benefit from the plane’s snug inside en path to Los Angeles and Miami this winter, in addition to cruising from London to Dubai come December.

But earlier than the superjumbos ferry British vacationers on long-awaited jaunts to the US, they’re going to first hop throughout the English Channel on some short-haul flights “to allow for crew familiarization,” in response to a BA assertion.

It’s not daily you journey from London to Europe on a double-decker aircraft, so avgeeks might be desperately making an attempt to safe seats on these one-off flights.

Trying to ebook on these routes is guesswork for now, as BA has but to verify which short-haul flights might be working the A380.

Choice route: London to Los Angeles — the right winter break, and what a technique to return to transatlantic journey


Emirates is the largest operator of A380s.

Emirates is the most important operator of A380s.

Massimo Insabato/Archivio Massimo Insabato/Mondadori Portfolio through Getty Images

The largest operator of the A380 is Emirates. When Emirates’ newest superjumbo joins its fleet later this 12 months, the Dubai-based airline might be house to 118 A380s.

The airline announced in September 2021 plans to deploy the A380 to 27 cities by the tip of November 2021. Travelers will have the ability to journey on board Emirates’ A380 to locations together with Amsterdam, Sao Paulo and Zurich.

On board Emirates’ A380s are swanky lounges and personal suites, and premium vacationers may even bathe on board because of the A380 Shower Spa.

The route to maintain tabs on is Dubai to Auckland — the Airbus A380’s dimension and luxury makes it ideally suited for long-haul journeys, and pre-pandemic, Dubai to Auckland was the longest Airbus A380 continuous route. Emirates’ plane cowl 14,193 kilometers over the course of this 10-hour journey.

Choice route: Dubai to Istanbul — a primary for the A380 and a chance to get again on a superjumbo this 12 months.

Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways is set to reinstate the superjumbo in its schedule this winter.

Qatar Airways is about to reinstate the superjumbo in its schedule this winter.

Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto through Getty Images

This assertion left many apprehensive for the superjumbo’s future at Qatar Airways, however as worldwide journey will increase, the panorama appears to be altering.

According to the airline’s on-line schedule, Qatar Airways has plans to function A380s between Doha and London Heathrow, and Doha and Paris Charles de Gaulle, from December 2021.

A Qatar Airways spokesperson declined to touch upon the A380’s return to service and the airline’s future plans for the plane.

Choice route: Doha to Paris — A380s had been assembled in France, so returning on a superjumbo to the place all of it started appears applicable


Qantas is set to operate A380s on its Sydney to Los Angeles route from July 2022

Qantas is about to function A380s on its Sydney to Los Angeles route from July 2022

Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

Qantas has 12 A380s in its fleet, they usually initially weren’t estimated to return to service till 2023. However in August 2021, the Aussie airline confirmed that 5 of its A380s would recommence flying earlier than anticipated.

Superjumbos are set to function Qantas’ Sydney-Los Angeles route from July 2022, and from November 2022 they need to be crisscrossing between Sydney and London through Singapore.

“The A380s work well on these long-haul routes when there’s sufficient demand, and the high vaccination rates in both markets would underpin this,” read a Qantas statement.

While two of Qantas’ A380s are set to be retired, the remaining 10 ought to all be again in service with newly fitted interiors by early 2024, in response to the airline’s assertion, which mentioned timing could be “dependent on how quickly the market recovers.”

Announcing the 2022 A380 return, Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said the choice was made as a result of the UK and US had been “key markets for Qantas” earlier than the pandemic, and appear to be recovering properly.

“We expect travel demand on these routes to be strong enough for the A380,” he added.

“The A380 is a great aircraft that our passengers love. The 10 aircraft we’re bringing back will have all-new interiors and we expect them to be part of our fleet for many years to come,” mentioned Joyce.

Choice route: Los Angeles to Sydney — return to Australia in fashion

Korean Air

Korean Air is currently operating an A380 service between Incheon and Guangzhou.

Korean Air is at the moment working an A380 service between Incheon and Guangzhou.

Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg through Getty Images

Pre-pandemic, Korean Air’s 10 A380s had been “mainly used on long-haul routes with high traffic volume,” a Korean Air spokesperson instructed CNN Travel.

While Korean Air’s A380s aren’t at the moment flying to New York’s JFK Airport or Paris’ Charles de Gaulle, two of the plane’s former haunts, the Korean Air spoksperson confirmed that the airline is at the moment working the A380 from Incheon to China’s Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport as soon as per week.

Guangzhou can also be a hub for China Southern Airlines, which has 5 A380s. The Chinese airline is at the moment flying superjumbos between Melbourne and Guangzhou weekly, in addition to on some flights to and from Los Angeles, in response to

Korean Air is in the course of merging with Asiana Airlines, an airline with six A380s of its personal.

The Korean Air spokesperson pointed CNN Travel to a recent interview with FlightGlobal through which Korean Air’s Chairman Walter Cho mentioned “the A380s will be leaving Korean Air’s fleet within five years.”

Korean Air’s A380s days is likely to be numbered, however they’re nonetheless round for now.

Choice route: Incheon to Guangzhou — expertise Korean Air’s A380s when you can

All Nippon Airways

All Nippon Airways' A380s are emblazoned in bright colors to resemble Hawaiian sea turtles

All Nippon Airways’ A380s are emblazoned in brilliant colours to resemble Hawaiian sea turtles

Jiji Press/AFP/Getty Images

Japanese airline All Nippon Airways (ANA) premiered its first A380 in 2019. Another superjumbo adopted a pair months later, and from October 16, ANA can have three A380s in its fleet when a 3rd “Flying Honu” joins its line-up.

All Nippon Airways’ A380s are maybe the world’s most distinctive superjumbos, every painted in vibrant hues to resemble Hawaiian sea turtles, a nod to their flight route from Tokyo Narita, Japan to Honolulu, Hawaii. “Honu” is a time period used for sea turtles in Hawaii.

An All Nippon Airways spokesperson instructed CNN Travel that whereas its A380s aren’t at the moment flying to Hawaii frequently — there is a Boeing 747 doing that route proper now — the airline is “looking for opportunities to fly the A380 on the Narita – Honolulu route on limited peak season days.” In August, an All Nippon Airways’ A380 flew from Narita to Honolulu on two roundtrips.

ANA’s A380s have additionally been flying home constitution flights — so-called “flights to nowhere” — they usually’ve been used as pop-up eating places.

ANA instructed CNN Travel it is “closely monitoring demand as well as immigration guidelines and public health measures implemented by the respective government” so as to work out when the A380 can return on a extra common foundation.

Choice route: Tokyo to Honolulu — preserve a watch out for any bulletins and head to Hawaii within the jazziest A380 round

Top picture credit score: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg through Getty Images

Correction: This story has been amended to take away an inaccurate reference to Turkey’s capital metropolis.

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