The Airbus A380 will not be coming back permanently to the Qatar Airways fleet, the airline’s chief executive has declared. 

Qatar Airways plans to bring back at least five of its 10 A380s to ease a capacity shortage caused by the grounding of its A350 aircraft over an issue with surface degradation. 

While the superjumbo may be popular with many plane spotters and aviation fans across the world, Qatar Airways is not happy that it has had to bring back the A380. 

In a statement on November 5, 2021, Qatar Airways said that it “reluctantly” took the decision to reactivate the aircraft.  

“The recent grounding of 19 Qatar Airways A350 fleet has left us with no alternative but to temporarily bring some of our A380 fleet back on key winter routes,” chief executive Akbar Al Baker said. 

And the A380 won’t be sticking around, Al Baker added. 

“This difficult decision reflects the gravity of the A350 issue and is intended to be a short-term measure to assist us in balancing our commercial needs. It does not signify a permanent reintroduction of our A380 fleet, which were grounded in favour of more fuel-efficient, twin-engine aircraft at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Doha-based carrier grounded its A380 fleet 18 months ago. On November 2, its first A380 took to the skies for a short repositioning flight ahead of its return to service. 

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Qatar Airways says its first A380 is back in the skies over Doha, ahead of starting services to Paris and London   
 

Qatar Airways has also brought back some of its A330 aircraft in light of rising travel demand. 

Al Baker said in the press release that the A350 issue remained unresolved and called on Airbus to take action.

“We continue to strongly urge Airbus to prioritize their investigations into the conclusive root cause of the issue affecting the A350 aircraft type, and ensure it proposes a permanent solution at the earliest opportunity to repair the damage and correct the underlying root cause.”

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