Emirates will resume flying the Airbus A380 on 15 July
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The world’s biggest international airline will resume flying the biggest passenger aeroplane next month. Emirates, which carries more passengers between different countries than any other airline, is restarting service with the Airbus A380 on 15 July, according to a tweet on its official account. The first destination served by the A380 from the Emirates base in Dubai will be London’s Heathrow airport and Paris CDG.
Currently, the entire Emirates fleet of 115 A380s is grounded in response to the drop in demand from the coronavirus pandemic, but Emirates president Sir Tim Clark has made optimistic statements on the prospect of returning all of them to service.
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Emirates is resuming A380 service to other destinations in the summer as well. A check of the Emirates online schedule showed that many A380 routes — for example a double-daily service to New York JFK — will resume in August. Other destinations that will see the return of A380 service in the summer are Amsterdam, London Gatwick, Manchester and Los Angeles, among others, according to Routes Online.
While the return of the Airbus super-jumbo to service with its largest operator in the world is undoubtedly a positive development for aviation, indicating a return of some of the demand lost with the pandemic, the future still looks bleak for the A380 in general. Regardless of what Emirates does with it this summer, it remains too large an aircraft for the average year-round demand on most routes. Air France has already decided to get rid of all its A380s and Lufthansa will not resume flying it before 2022, if ever.
The onboard experience on the A380, which has been the giant aeroplane’s calling card since it entered commercial service in 2007, will also be seriously affected by the coronavirus. The showers for first-class passengers, and the bar for first and biz, that used to be the top differentiator of the Emirates onboard experience are currently suspended and facing an uncertain future. And while first class on the Emirates A380 was an experience worth splurging for in pre-pandemic conditions, these days flyers won’t get the same over-the-top service and lavish meals. In fact, the first-class suites on some Emirates Boeing 777s are better than first class on the A380.
As the A380s return to flying with Emirates, the airline’s home in Dubai is reopening to visitors on 7 July, although with stringent conditions. Emirates has also resumed flying to some of its destinatons around the world this month, using only Boeing 777s.
Flight-tracking site Flightradar24 showed that there were 35 Emirates aircraft airborne at 1 p.m. ET on Tuesday, or just 13% of the airline’s current fleet. All were 777s.
According to data from Flightradar24, there were only two A380s airborne in the world at that time, both with China Southern — the only airline that’s regularly flying them at the moment.
Featured photo by Alberto Riva/The Points Guy