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The A380 is mounting a comeback

The A380 is mounting a comeback

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Three airlines are set to return at least a portion of their A380 fleets to service by the end of the year. British Airways will relaunch service at the end of October, while Singapore Airlines will begin flights a few days later on 4 November. Qatar Airways will reintroduce half of its A380 fleet in mid-December.

British Airways

British Airways A380s in storage in Madrid

British Airways will resume service with the A380 on 31 October with flights to Hong Kong as the BA31. The replace the 777-300ER on that flight. The following week it will add service to Frankfurt and Madrid, followed by additional service expansions by March 2022. The airline parked its A380s by the end of March 2020 and placed most of them in storage by mid-April.

Planned British Airways A380 service

DestinationStart date (tentative)
Hong Kong (HKG)31 October
Frankfurt (FRA)8 November
Madrid8 November
Dubai (DXB)3 December
Miami (MIA)5 December
Los Angeles (LAX)9 December
Johannesburg (JNB)11 January 2022
Singapore (SIN)2 February
Chicago (ORD)27 March
San Francisco27 March

Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines A380s in storage in Alice Springs, Australia

Singapore will restart A380 flying with a short hop to Kuala Lumpur. Flight time between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur averages 44 minutes, meaning it may take more more time to board and deplane the aircraft than it does to fly. But, Singapore will then begin London service a few weeks later, followed by a large increase in service on 1 January 2022.

Planned Singapore Airlines A380 service

DestinationStart date (tentative)
Kuala Lumpur4 November
London (LHR)18 November
Mumbai (BOM)1 January 2022
Delhi (DEL)1 January
Hong Kong (HKG)1 January
Osaka (KIX)1 January
Shanghai (PVG)1 January
Sydney1 January
Beijing (PEK)10 January
Frankfurt/New York27 January
Paris27 March
Zurich27 March

Qantas

Qantas A380s stored in VictorvilleQantas this week announced it was again moving up its reintroduction of the A380. Originally scheduled to return at the end of 2023, the airline had previously said that five of its updated A380s would fly to Los Angeles and London from July 2022. Now, the airline will bring forward to March 2022 the return of two A380s for service to Los Angeles. A further three will return by late 2022. The remaining five could return to service by 2024. Qantas has committed to permanently retiring two of its 12 A380s.

Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways A380s in storage in Doha

Perhaps the most surprising resumption of A380 service comes from Qatar Airways, whose CEO has called the A380 the airlines biggest mistake. However, 13 of Qatar Airways A350s are currently grounded by Qatari regulators due to an issue affecting the composite skin underneath the paint of the aircraft. In order to have enough capacity come Christmas, Qatar Airways has decided to reactivate at least five of its 10 A380s. Unlike, British Airways and Singapore Airlines, there is no ramp up of service currently planned. Qatar A380s will operate on the London and Paris routes beginning 15 December.

Planned Qatar Airways A380 service

DestinationStart date (tentative)
London15 December
Paris15 December

The best of the A380

View some of the best British Airways, Qantas, Qatar Airways, and Singapore Airlines A380 photos from the JetPhotos catalog.

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