These Are the Airlines Flying the A380 Since the Pandemic; Lufthansa
these are the airlines flying the a380 since the pandemic;

These Are the Airlines Flying the A380 Since the Pandemic; Lufthansa

Airbus’ behemoth A380 stood out in a world deprived of air travelers early on in the pandemic. The ability to fly a huge number of passengers — over 600 people — in a single plane, which the A380 once represented, made it temporarily obsolete.

Airbus A380.

Airbus

But, as pent-up demand for international travel rages this summer, airlines that sent their A380s to storage are now dusting off the cobwebs and getting ready to connect people again.

An Emirates Airbus A380.

An Emirates Airbus A380.

Arnold Aaron/Shutterstock.com

Here’s how the A380 is making a comeback after being mostly forgotten and abandoned during the pandemic.

Airbus A380 MSN1.

Airbus A380 MSN1.

Ben Birchall/PA Images/Contributor via Getty Images

Destined to fly passengers, some airlines started bringing back the A380 shortly after the onset of COVID-19, with others adding it back into their networks for the first time this year as demand continues to skyrocket.

An Airbus A380 operated by Lufthansa.

An Airbus A380 operated by Lufthansa.

Silas Stein/picture alliance via Getty Images.

Emirates, in its role as the world’s largest Airbus A380 operator, was unsurprisingly one of the first airlines to restore the mammoth plane.

Emirates and American Airlines planes

An Emirates Airbus A380 and an American Airlines A321.

Philip Pilosian / Shutterstock.com

Dubai opened to international travelers in July 2020, ahead of most global tourist destinations, and Emirates responded by adding A380 flights to London and Paris the same month.

Emirates Airbus A380

Emirates Airbus A380

kamilpetran/Shutterstock

Source: Cirium Diio Mi

According to aviation-data provider Cirium, the carrier resumed flights between Dubai and New York-JFK on June 21, 2021, followed by flights to Los Angeles, Washington DC, and San Francisco. Emirates’ “fifth-freedom” flight between Milan and JFK started in December 2021.

Emirates' first-ever Airbus A380, registered A6-EDA

Emirates’ first-ever Airbus A380, registered A6-EDA

NYC Russ

Source: Cirium Diio Mi

All of Emirates’ A380 luxuries have also been restored, including caviar in first class and in-flight showers.

The bathroom of a first class cabin inside an Emirates Airbus A380.

The bathroom of a first class cabin inside an Emirates Airbus A380.

Christian Charisius/picture alliance via Getty Images.

Meanwhile, Emirates’ existing A380 fleet is being retrofitted with a new interior that includes enhancements to each cabin and the addition of a premium economy class.

Emirates A380 Premium Economy

Emirates A380 Premium Economy

Emirates

In October 2021, All Nippon Airways (ANA) took delivery of its third and final A380 from Airbus’s production line in Toulouse, France. The Japanese carrier initially planned to use the aircraft to fly solely between Tokyo and Honolulu, Hawaii, before the pandemic hit.

Third and final ANA A380.

Third and final ANA A380.

Airbus

Source: Airbus

Those flights were rescheduled to start in January 2022, but the carrier has postponed the service until at least July 1, according to Cirium data. That could be further pushed back depending on the border-reopening status in Japan.

Third and final ANA A380.

Airbus

Source: Cirium Diio Mi

While ANA has not flown its giant A380 since the pandemic on regularly scheduled flights, it has operated “flights to nowhere” around Japan.

ANA A380.

Airbus

Source: Simple Flying

Competing Asian carrier Singapore Airlines resumed A380 flights on November 4, 2021, after the launch of the “vaccinated travel lane” program that allowed inoculated visitors to skip quarantine upon arrival in Singapore.

Singapore Airlines A380.

Mike Fuchslocher/Shutterstock

The first flight flew from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The 160-nautical-mile journey was among the shortest to ever be flown by the A380 in a scheduled capacity.

Singapore Airlines Airbus A380

Singapore Airlines Airbus A380

Vytautas Kielaitis/Shutterstock

Source: Cirium Diio Mi

In Europe, British Airways resumed flying the A380 on November 8, 2021, to Frankfurt, Germany, and Madrid from London as a means of getting flight crews reacclimated to the plane.

British Airways Airbus A380

A British Airways Airbus A380.

Philip Pilosian / Shutterstock.com

Source: Cirium Diio Mi, Simple Flying

After its initial European runs, British Airways expanded the A380 to overseas destinations, like Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco, Dubai, and Johannesburg, South Africa.

British Airways Airbus A380

A British Airways Airbus A380.

Thiago B Trevisan / Shutterstock.com

Source: Cirium Diio Mi

According to data from Cirium, the airline will resume A380 flights to Dallas/Fort Worth on July 1, 2022, and up its seasonal service between London and Johannesburg to twice a day in October.

British Airways a380.

EQRoy/Shutterstock.com

Source: Cirium Diio Mi

Before resuming service, the iconic red, white, and blue A380s sat in storage around Europe and as far as the Middle East. In Doha, Qatar, for example, three British A380s sat idle on a taxiway at Hamad International Airport.

British Airways Airbus A380

A British Airways Airbus A380.

Thomas Pallini/Insider

Here’s what living in the passenger terminal for 48 hours was like.

Doha-based Qatar Airways was the second Middle Eastern carrier after Emirates to resume A380 operations after grounding the jets for over a year, flying the plane to Paris and London in December 2021.

Qatar A380.

HasanZaidi/Shutterstock.com

Source: Cirium Diio Mi

The largest aircraft in Qatar’s fleet is the only one to feature a true first-class cabin. Smaller aircraft only feature business-class seats.

Qatar A380 first class.

M101Studio/Shutterstock.com

Shortly after Qatar relaunched its A380, Australian airline Qantas announced the return of the double-decker in January 2022.

Qantas Airbus A380

A Qantas Airbus A380.

Ryan Fletcher / Shutterstock.com

Source: Cirium Diio Mi

According to Cirium, the plane flew between Sydney and Los Angles on January 11, followed by flights between Melbourne and Los Angeles on June 6 and Sydney and Singapore on June 21, though Cirium does not show any flights between Australia and London resuming this year.

Qantas Airbus A380

A Qantas Airbus A380.

Felipe Sanchez / Shutterstock.com

Source: Cirium Diio Mi

Korean Air was another carrier to quickly return the A380, resuming limited flights of the jet in September 2020 to destinations in Japan and China. Nearly two years later, service to the US finally restarted on Monday with a flight from Seoul to New York JFK.

Korean Air Airbus A380

A Korean Air Airbus A380.

Thiago B Trevisan / Shutterstock.com

Source: Cirium Diio Mi

But even as the carrier slowly returns the jet to its standard flying schedule, the A380’s tenure in Korea is still set to expire in the next five years.

Korean Air A380.

Philip Pilosian/Shutterstock.com

“The A380s will be leaving Korean Air’s fleet within five years, and the Boeing 747-8i fleet will also follow suit within ten years,” Walter Cho, Korean Air’s chief executive officer, told FlightGlobal in August.

Korean Air Airbus A380

A Korean Air Airbus A380.

Thiago B Trevisan / Shutterstock.com

Source: FlightGlobal

In 2021, German flag carrier Lufthansa shared Korean’s feelings towards the A380, and it was doubtful whether the airline would ever bring back the jet.

Lufthansa Airbus A380

A Lufthansa Airbus A380.

Chittapon Kaewkiriya / Shutterstock.com

Source: Lufthansa

Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr said in a second-quarter 2021 earnings call that the “A380 obviously will not come back.” However, the carrier reversed its pandemic-era decision on Monday, saying the beloved jet would return in summer 2023.

Lufthansa's Airbus A380.

Lufthansa’s Airbus A380.

Lufthansa.

Source: Lufthansa, Seeking Alpha

In a press release, the carrier revealed that booming demand and delayed deliveries of other jets prompted the decision.

Lufthansa Airbus A380

A Lufthansa Airbus A380.

Sundry Photography / Shutterstock.com

Source: Lufthansa

It is unknown how, when, or how many A380s will be reactivated, or which routes they will fly. However, Lufthansa did reveal it has 14 planes in “deep storage” in Spain in France, six of which have been sold and eight that remain available to the carrier.

Lufthansa Airbus A380

A Lufthansa Airbus A380 in storage.

Santi Rodriguez / Shutterstock.com

Source: Lufthansa

From Guangzhou, China, China Southern’s A380 flew to global destinations such as Los Angeles, Sydney, Tokyo, Paris, London, and Amsterdam, Netherlands.

China Southern Airways A380.

Angel DiBilio/Shutterstock.com

Source: Cirium Diio Mi

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