British Airways, an International Airlines Group (IAG) (IAG) brand, was one of the last carriers to park its full Airbus A380 fleet amid the coronavirus crisis. However, having operated the last commercial flights by the wide-bodies, the airline has now parked its whole Super Jumbo fleet. Nevertheless, some of the aircraft are to embark on a one more journey, as the British carrier is reportedly sending half of the fleet to storage in France.
The carrier is sending out four Super Jumbos, registration numbers G-XLEA, G-XLEC, G-XLEF, and G-XLEI on April 6, 2020. Two more aircraft (reg. numbers G-XLEJ and G-XLEL) are expected to be shipped out on April 7, 2020.
The first aircraft to leave for France, G-XLEA, departed from Heathrow at 9:06 AM local time (UTC+1). The double-deckers will be based in Châteauroux-Centre Airport (CHR), where several aircraft maintenance and dismantling companies are based.
One airliner, (reg. number G-XLEG) is currently undergoing heavy maintenance in Manila, Philippines. The aircraft has been there since March 7, 2020, showcases flightradar24.com data.
In total, British Airways currently has 12 Airbus A380 aircraft in its fleet. Aside the six airliners heading for France and the one in maintenance, the rest of the Super Jumbo fleet is staying at British Airways’ home in Heathrow (LHR).
AeroTime News approached British Airways for comment.
Previously, on April 3, 2020, British Airways shipped five Boeing 747s to storage or eventual scrappage due to the outbreak of COVID-19. The virus resulted in a shortfall in passenger demand and very reduced cash flows for airlines around the world. Thus cost-cutting measures were implemented, with one of the ways to reduce short and long-term costs is to retire or temporarily store gas-guzzlers like the A380 or the Boeing 747.