"Pilots take no special joy in walking. Pilots like flying." - Neil Armstrong
Which airlines fly with the Airbus A380
Written by: Ivo Gračanin.
Although production of the Airbus A380 has officially ended, airlines are still using it on their flights.
We bring you an overview of airlines that still have active A380s in their fleet.
Data on the A380 number were taken from the ch-aviation database (as of 6 January 2022).
Emirates is the airline with the most active A380s worldwide. According to data, there are 121 A380 aircraft in Emirates fleet, of which 59 are active and 62 are inactive. Emirates uses them even on shorter flights, for example to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, which is a little less than 3 hours away, and to flights to North and South America, Africa and Asia, which some of them last almost 15 hours. Most A380 flights go to Europe, especially to the United Kingdom. Asia and Australia have relatively few flights with the A380 due to restrictions that are still in place, and therefore relatively little tourist traffic to these parts of the world.
Singapore is slowly opening up, but passengers from few countries in the world are allowed to enter the country, which is why Singapore Airlines is in no hurry to launch flights with its A380s. Of the 17 aircraft they have in the fleet, 7 are active, while 10 are inactive. They are currently flying from Singapore to London and Sydney.
Although Qatar Airways gave up the A380 and in a way to retired them, a big surprise happened and they were put back into service. That decision was influenced by the color problem on the A350 aircraft, so Qatar was forced to introduce additional aircraft into the fleet to cover the aircraft shortage. Qatar has 10 Airbus A380 aircraft in its fleet, but only 4 are active and 6 are inactive. They fly with them on flights from Doha to Paris and London. We hope that Qatar will change its mind and leave the A380 active in the fleet for a little longer.
British Airways surprised at the end of last year and introduced A380 flights from London to Madrid and Frankfurt. Surely many passengers were surprised to see the A380 on their flight. It lasted a short time, but it was certainly a historic opportunity to fly the A380 on a short flight within Europe. The reason for introducing the A380 on such short flights was to give crews the opportunity to train and prepare for real longhaul flights with that aircraft. Of the 12 A380 aircraft, 5 are active aircraft, while 7 are inactive. They fly with them from London to Los Angeles, Miami and Dubai.
China Southern Airlines is the only Chinese airline to have an A380 in its fleet. They currently have 3 active A380s in the fleet and 2 inactive ones, or 5 A380 aircraft total in the fleet. With these planes they fly from their hub in Guangzhou to Amsterdam and Los Angeles.
Korean Air flies once a week on the Seoul-Guangzhou flight to maintain pilots and cabin crew ready to fly on this type of aircraft. They have 10 A380 aircraft in the fleet, of which only one is active, the remaining 9 are inactive. According to Korean news, they want to fully retire the A380 in the next few years.
If the purchase of Asia by the Koreans and their integration into Korea finally materializes, then the A380 will also enter the Korean fleet. As it is known that Korean wants to retire the A380, the same future is being prepared for the A380 from the Asian fleet. Asiana has 6 inactive Airbus A380 aircraft in its fleet.
Qantas announced late last year that it would return its A380 aircraft to the fleet and start flying with them on flights from Sydney to Los Angeles, but flights to other destinations are also possible depending on the state of the coronavirus. Qantas has 12 inactive A380 aircraft in its fleet.
The Etihad has turned to fleet simplification and the use of smaller aircraft like the Boeing 787. When the number of passengers increases, it may return the A380 to its flights. Let's just remember the Etihad apartments that they offered in their A380, and thus offered top service to their passengers with a slightly deeper pocket. Etihad has 10 inactive A380 aircraft in its fleet.
Even before the pandemic, Malaysia Airlines decided to remove the A380 from the fleet because they were in financial trouble. Although they tried to fly with them on flights to Saudi Arabia to transport pilgrims to Hajj. But that lasted for a short time, and now, especially at the time of the pandemic, there is no need for such large aircraft. They have 6 inactive Airbus A380 aircraft in their fleet.
Thai like Malaysia ran into financial difficulties and they had to drastically cut the fleet. They are turning to smaller wide-body aircraft such as the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787, and there will be no more room for the A380. There are still 6 inactive A380s in the fleet. They announced the sale of 2 A380 aircraft on their website.
All Nippon Airways
ANA has purchased its A380 aircraft with the aim of connecting Japan and Hawaii. They have 3 inactive A380 aircraft in the fleet. It is interesting that the planes are painted in special and very interesting colors that represent turtles. All three aircraft are painted in different colors, one is turquoise, the other is blue and the third is orange.