IATA predicts air travel will take around three to four years to reach the level it was pre-pandemic, the low demand in air travel has landed a fatal blow to a passenger favourite aircraft, the Airbus A380.

The A380 programme was a far cry from what Airbus had hoped for the aircraft. Adding to this, Covid-19 resulted in another blow for operators of the superjumbo. Airlines operating the A380 have resorted to grounding the type or even withdrawing the aircraft permanently from its fleet.

We’ve covered news on Singapore Airlines storing their A380s in Alice Springs due to Covod-19– here.

Air France, the sixth-largest operator of the A380 has stated it will be permanently withdrawing their nine A380s immediately at a write-down of €500m.

Lufthansa, the fourth largest operator of the A380 will be phasing out six of their fourteen A380 fleet. A380 operations will cease routes out of its Frankfurt hub, with the remaining A380s operating their schedules from Munich.

crop 0 0 1661 979 0 A380 operators 1

Chart Courtesy – Routes online

Sources have stated that Etihad is considering withdrawing their fleet of ten A380s. The airline only received their first aircraft back in 2014 with the latest one being delivered as early as 2017 making it a rather premature departure from the airline.

According to reports, Emirates has requested to cancel five of its last eight orders they had for the aircraft. Emirates were set to receive the last ever manufactured A380 aircraft as the A380 programme was shut down by the manufacturer, the airline is the biggest operator of the aircraft type.

Tim Clark, President of Emirates did state that the aircraft would remain in their fleet and expects all of its aircraft to fly in two years.

With Covid-19 not going away any time soon and a potential second wave of infections being expected, we could likely see more operators added to the list of withdrawing A380s. What do you think?

We’ve also covered news on how the A380 might stay in the skies a bit longer as a freighter aircraft– here

Sources – Bloomberg, Financial Times, Reuters & Routes online