Emirates is going to bring back over 60 Airbus A380 aircraft by the end of 2021, reintroducing over half of its superjumbo fleet into the service.
The flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates owns the world’s largest fleet of the world’s largest passenger aircraft, having 118 A380s in its possession.
The news about the return of the giant was announced by the chairman and CEO of Emirates, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed, in an interview to The National News.
Bin Saeed said October 2021 was a positive month for the airline, as it recorded its first operating profit since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The carrier also halved its losses in the first six months of FY 2021-2022.
So far, 47 of Emirates’ A380s are operational, and the airline has sent some of its superjumbos into retirement – and recycling – just recently.
The airline’s earlier plans called for the ungrounding of the entire A380 fleet by the end of the year, but the intention seems to have changed since then.
Recently the airline also announced a plan to introduce premium economy class on some of its A380s, as a part of a larger retrofitting effort.
Large part of the worldwide A380 fleet remains inactive, as the four-engine double-decker struggled to remain relevant through the pandemic, receiving criticism for its inefficiency and a capacity which is not needed in these new circumstances.
However, the gargantuan aircraft seems to be staging an impressive, if a little-bit slow, return. Some of its operators, such as British Airways and Qantas, have already brought some flights back, while others – such as Qatar Airways – have hinted at plans to return it to service soon.