With carriers determined to save costs amid the crisis currently hitting the air transport industry, the Airbus A380 has been one of the prime targets among wide-body airliners heading to retirement. Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) and Air France already announced that their Super Jumbos would not return into service.
But British Airways’ twelve A380s may not join their brethren. Sean Doyle, CEO of British Airways, announced that the A380 would eventually return to operations. “The A380 isn’t flying at the minute but it is in our plans for the future rebuild of the airline,” he told The Independent. “Exactly when we will put the A380 back into service is something that we’re not clear on.” Doyle forecasts that British Airways would not return to its pre-pandemic level for another two to three years. “Our best guess is 2023-24,” he said.
Sean Doyle was appointed CEO of British Airways following the departure of Alex Cruz in October 2020 amid what the company defined as the industry’s “worst crisis.” He was previously holding the same position at Aer Lingus, another airline of the IAG group, for nearly two years.
On July 16, 2020, British Airways announced that none of the 31 Boeing 747 aircraft it operated would take back to the skies after the crisis. British Airways has been the biggest operator of the model, with 105 jumbos operated throughout the years since the first delivery in 1971.