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  • For most of the past year, it seemed like the Airbus A380 was doomed because of the global health crisis.

  • At one point, there were no A380s flying!

  • Moreover, operators such as Air France and Lufthansa retired their units.

  • However, despite the mass groundings, the superjumbo is seeing a positive twist of fate....

  • The pandemic catalyzed retirements of the A380 due to long-haul travel being the most affected market segment in aviation.

  • Nonetheless, with passenger activity picking up again largely thanks to vaccination efforts and easing border restrictions, airlines are beginning to take another look at their options with the A380.

  • Let's look at the status of the aircraft with each of its operators.

  • In mid-October ANA took on its third and final Airbus A380.

  • The Japanese carrier deploys the type primarily between Tokyo Narita and Honolulu.

  • While restrictions were in placeit used its existing units on special tours around Japan.

  • Over in Europe, British Airways is preparing short-haul A380 trips to Frankfurt and Madrid in November to get crews familiar with the plane again.

  • The airline is bringing back four of its 12 units next month.

  • Going back to Asia, China Southern presently has four of its five units in the skies.

  • These jets have been flying from Guangzhou to the likes of MelbourneLos Angeles, and Amsterdam in recent weeks.

  • Emirates was continuing to take deliveries of the A380 during the peak months of the pandemic.

  • As the largest operator of the A380, Emirates presently has over 40 of its 120 units active.

  • If all goes according to schedule, in Decemberthe carrier will take delivery of the last A380 ever built.

  • Interestingly, Korean Air is merging with compatriot Asiana Airlines.

  • Therefore, the flag carrier of South Korea will have another six A380s to think about on top of its existing 10 units.

  • The airline has previously stated that it plans to let go of the model within five years.

  • Qantas has 12 A380s in its holdings.

  • While all of these are grounded due to Australia's strict border policy during the pandemicQantas previously stated that it plans to reactivate its fleet of superjumbos.

  • This summer, the carrier noted that the A380 will fly for many years to come.

  • Qatar Airways has been one of the more interesting cases when it comes to the A380.

  • The airline announced a surprise return for the A380, scheduling it on services before the end of the year.

  • In recent months, management had shared that the plane was a thing of the past and its biggest mistake.

  • Yet, the flag carrier of Qatar now highlights that in order to alleviate the current fleet challenges amid the grounding of several A350s, the A380 is being brought back.

  • Singapore Airlines has been removing units from storage in recent months.

  • However, a few of its retired ones have been sent for dismantlement recently.

  • Nonetheless, the airline is been bringing back A380s for vaccine lane flights as well as for a daily service to Kuala Lumpur, a flight that lasts less than an hour!

  • Unfortunately, it looks like the A380 is gone for Malaysia AirlinesThai Airways, and most likely Etihad.

  • Altogether, there is now notable progress with the A380, with passengers increasingly returning to the air as governments start to open borders and loosen travel restrictions.

  • Even though there is an optimistic pattern emerging in the short termthe A380 is still on its way out of the industry as carriers prioritize fuel efficiency and lower emissions.

  • With stakeholders looking at long-term, efficient solutions, the gas-guzzling quad jet is finding it hard to have a role in this next stage.

  • Other than with Emirates and its plethora of units, it will be hard to spot the A380 by the time this decade is over.

  • What are your thoughts about the Airbus A380? Are you hoping to fly on the plane again?

  • Let us know what you think of the superjumbo and its prospects in the industry by leaving a comment.

For most of the past year, it seemed like the Airbus A380 was doomed because of the global health crisis.

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A New A380 Era: The 2021 Rise Of The Superjumbo

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    Jeff Chiao posted on 2021/11/28
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