Tchau! Portuguese charter Hi Fly to drop its Airbus A380
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Another A380 Airbus bites the dust.
Portuguese wet-lease specialist Hi Fly has announced that it will return its only superjumbo before the end of the year — following the news in 2019 that Airbus will no longer be manufacturing the enormous aircraft.
The plane, with a jolly turquoise livery in support of the Mirpuri Foundation “Save the Coral Reefs” campaign, has been a charter carrier for Hi Fly since 2018 and more recently was converted for cargo use to take advantage of the increased demand for cargo flights following the onset of Covid-19.
The pandemic has seen a significant drop in the need for such large aircraft and a number of carriers have either retired A380s from their fleets, put them in storage or found other uses for them entirely — like the Singapore Airlines A380 restaurant in Changi.
In a statement Hi Fly said: “Hi Fly is planning the phase-out of its Airbus A380 at the end of the lease term later this year, following almost three years of successful operations worldwide.
“The decision to not extend the initial agreed lease period came as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic, that drastically reduced the demand for very large aircraft.
“The Airbus A380 will be replaced in the Hi Fly fleet by additional Airbus A330s, a smaller and more adequate aircraft for current market conditions.”
Previously the aircraft was leased by Norwegian to operate its London Gatwick to New York JFK route.
Though an A380 flying for a low-cost-carrier is unique, what made Hi Fly’s plane extra special is that it used to belong to Singapore Airlines and still sports its original interior with first-class suites. Read our full review here.
Featured photo by China News Service/Contributor/Getty Images
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