British Airways’ A380 returns to service next month

Oct 4, 2021

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In great news for both international travel and aviation enthusiasts, British Airways’ biggest aircraft will return to regularly scheduled passenger service in November.

After sitting in storage for some 18 months, five of BA’s 12-strong double-decker aircraft will initially be used on short-haul services from the carrier’s London Heathrow (LHR) hub to Frankfurt (FRA) and Madrid (MAD) from 8 November, according to Head For Points, which quoted internal scheduling documents. This is to refamiliarise pilots and crew with operating the world’s largest commercial aircraft.

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The four-class aircraft has 469 seats across four cabins, with 14 First class, 97 Club World business class, 55 World Traveller Plus premium economy and 303 World Traveller economy seats. The Club World cabin features the older business-class seats, and not the new Club Suite seats.

If you’re looking for a very unusual way to travel to Germany or Spain next month, you can expect good Avios availability and a comfortable ride on this four-engine superjumbo. It’s likely British Airways and Oneworld elites will be able to select premium-economy seats with economy tickets on these short flights, though the spacious and luxurious first-class cabin may be blocked.

The airline is then expected to roster the Airbus A380 on long-haul routes from early December with all four classes on sale, including those that regularly saw this aircraft type, including Miami (MIA) and Los Angeles (LAX). Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) is expected to receive a British Airways A380 for the first time starting in December, according to updates in Cirrum scheduling.

Photo by British Airways

Related: In love all over again: A review of British Airways first class on the A380 with its new soft product

Storing the world’s largest aircraft is no easy feat: British Airways has needed to find space for all 12 of its A380s in environments suitable for long-term aircraft storage. Aviation enthusiasts passing through Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suárez Airport, home to BA’s sister airline, Iberia will spot half of BA’s A380 fleet resting in the dry and hot conditions.

Returning stored aircraft to service is also a complex process.

Featured image courtesy of British Airways.

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