All Emirates A380s will be flying again next year

Fuelled by rampant travel demand, the superjumbo continues to soar.

By David Flynn, December 30 2022
All Emirates A380s will be flying again next year

Gulf colossus Emirates intends to bring back all of its Airbus A380 double-deckers by December 2023 replenishing its fleet after years of reduced capacity during the coronavirus pandemic. 

The superjumbo is both the flagship and cornerstone of Emirates’ global network, carrying travellers to and from all corners of the world via its Dubai mega-hub.

Speaking in Dubai, Chief Commercial Officer Adnan Kazim said all of the existing A380s would be back in service “close to the end of next year,” helping Emirates recover the remaining 20% of capacity that the airline is holding back. 

Emirates is Airbus’ largest customer for the A380, with around 120 planes: when Airbus cancelled production of the superjumbo in 2019 because of a lack of demand, Emirates President Tim Clark has said the A380s will remain active at his airline until the mid-2030s.

The airline is already flying more than 70 A380s; the interiors of about half the fleet are also getting a makeover including the addition of new premium economy seating.

UAE neighbour and rival Etihad also plans to bring four A380s out of hibernation from mid-2023 on flights between Abu Dhabi and London Heathrow, in turn freeing up capacity to bring back more destinations and add flight elsewhere.

Joining the northern summer of the superjumbo will be Lufthansa, which has also reversed a pandemic-era decision to retire the aircraft as travel demand soars and new jets from Airbus and Boeing have become slow to arrive.

While six of the Star Alliance member’s 14-strong superjumbo fleet have already been sold back to Airbus, eight A380s remain on the books.

The first of these has already been flown out of storage from Spain to Frankfurt, with between two and four more expected to follow, ahead of a mid-year debut on premium international routes from Munich.

All 12 British Airways’ A380s are flying once again, while Singapore Airlines has 11 of its 12-strong fleet back in the sky.

“The 12th and final A380 is currently being retrofitted and is expected to re-enter service during the 2023/24 financial year,” a Singapore Airlines spokesperson tells Executive Traveller.

As for Qantas, which put its 12 A380s into storage at the start of the pandemic, half of those have made a welcome return, with plans for four more to take wing by the end of 2023.

However, that’s where Qantas is drawing a line, with two more A380s deemed surplus to requirements and scrapped for parts. 

Additional reporting by Bloomberg

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1193

Do we know if EK are installing Premium Economy on these reactivated A380s before they re-enter service?

26 Jul 2015

Total posts 72

What great news, my favourite plane.


11 Jul 2014

Total posts 903

Myself and others thought it was the end of the A380, what will happen in the future now that AirBus has stop building the giant flying machine?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

31 Jan 2016

Total posts 92

Not being 'sold' on the QF business offering I expect that the next trip to UK/EU will be on Emirate's where I can book Bus through QF and use first lounges etc.


11 Jul 2014

Total posts 903

Several points here about the A380, if so many are flying again when people thought the Double Decker was dead!!!!!

What happens in the future? Will they restart manufacture? With the pilot shortages, are the larger capacities planes a better option? 

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