Qatar Airways’ first Airbus A380 has taken to the skies again after being grounded during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The first A380, under flight number QR3254, carried out a 25 minute positioning flight from the old Doha International Airport (DIA) to the new Hamad International Airport (HIA) in the Qatari capital. The aircraft, registered A7-APG, took off at 0826 UTC on November 2, 2021. 

“Our first A380 is officially back in the skies as we continue to grow the airline network and meet strong air travel demand,” Qatar Airways stated on social media.

The airline will be starting services with the A380 to London and Paris from December 15, 2021. 

Several airlines, including British Airways and Singapore Airlines (SIA1) (SINGY), are bringing some of their A380s back out of storage, as they ramp up long-haul flying thanks to easing border restrictions. 

With borders opening and travel demand returning, several airlines are bringing their A380s back out of storage.   

Along with citing increased travel demand, Qatar Airways is bringing some of its 10 A380s back because it needs to make up for lost A350 capacity. The airline’s A350 fleet is currently grounded over issues with the paint on the surface of the fuselage. 

Qatar Airways grounded its A380 fleet back in March 2020. 

Qatar Airways CEO said the airline will be returning Airbus A380s to its fleet in early November 2021.