Are you currently planning your summer vacation and would like to check “flying on a superjumbo” off your list? The latest schedule data could help you to plan your travels, with many cities across the globe looking forward to welcoming the double-decker at their respective airports.
OAG data compiled by AeroRoutes shows that 10 operators in total have filled in routes that will be flown with the Airbus A380.
Emirates remains the largest operator, while some airlines, such as Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) or the Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based Etihad Airways, will only use the Airbus A380 on a single route.
A380s outbound from Asia
The largest concentration of Airbus A380s will be in Asia, where Middle East-based airlines will be responsible for most of the scheduled seats on this aircraft during the upcoming travel season.
Of the 10 airlines scheduled to fly the Super Jumbo in summer 2023, seven will be based in Asia, including in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. The largest fleet will be deployed by Emirates, which plans to operate the Airbus A380 to 47 different cities, excluding fifth-freedom routes and flights to the same city but to a different airport, such as the flights between Dubai International Airport (DXB) and London Heathrow Airport (LHR) and London Gatwick Airport (LGW).
Emirates will operate three fifth-freedom routes from DXB: Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) via Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK), New York John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) via Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP), and to Christchurch International Airport (CHC) via Syndey Airport (SYD). As of March 27, 2023, the flag carrier of Dubai has 116 aircraft of the type, with 85 currently active, and another 16 in maintenance, according to ch-aviation.com data.
The DXB-based carrier recently introduced a new livery, and the first aircraft to roll out with it was an Airbus A380, registered as A6-EOE.
Singapore Airlines follows in second place and will operate nine routes out of its Changi Airport (SIN) hub to 10 different destinations. The list includes a fifth-freedom flight from SIN to JFK via Frankfurt Airport (FRA), as well as the only A380 flights to India, namely to Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) and Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (BOM).
Meanwhile, British Airways will fly eight direct routes from LHR to various cities, primarily to the United States (US). The only non-US destinations served by the British airline in the upcoming summer season with the A380 will be DXB and Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB).
Some airlines chose to deploy the Airbus A380 to a single destination or to focus on particular markets.
For example, ANA will deploy its three Flying Honu Airbus A380s between Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT) and Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) in Honolulu, Hawaii, a popular destination for Japanese tourists. According to an estimate from the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), 209,890 Japanese visitors arrived at the islands in 2022, compared to 1.5 million in 2019. The greatest volume of flights between NRT and HNL will begin on July 21, 2023, when ANA will fly 10 times per week with its double-decker aircraft.
Etihad Airways will fly between Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) and LHR, utilizing four of its A380s to connect the two destinations. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the airline operated 10 aircraft of the type. The Abu Dhabi airline recently welcomed its first Airbus A380 after the aircraft was returned from long-term storage at Teruel Airport (TEV), Spain. The Super Jumbo arrived at AUH on March 10, 2023.
South Korean airlines Asiana Airlines and Korean Air will utilize the A380 on five and three routes, respectively. Both carriers will operate out of Seoul’s Incheon International Airport (ICN), with only Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) being a duplicate destination for both airlines.
The two carriers are in the process of obtaining approval from regulators to form a merger. The duo received approval from the United Kingdom’s (UK) Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) with certain conditions that are set to benefit Virgin Atlantic.
Lufthansa will only operate two routes, connecting Munich Airport (MUC) and Boston Logan International Airport (BOS), as well as JFK. Qatar Airways and Australia’s Qantas will operate three and four routes, respectively, including Qantas’ Kangaroo Route, connecting SYD and LHR via SIN with the Airbus A380.