Photo of Emirates a380 flying

After a sad hiatus, the jumbos and super jumbos of the skies appear to be making a return. Lufthansa will fly long haul equipped Boeing 747’s within Europe this summer, and now Emirates says an increasing number of its Airbus A380 fleet will be taken out of storage and put back into action, serving at least global 15 destinations.

For plane geeks and fans of the more spacious cabins, there’s no telling exactly how long this ‘stay of execution’ will last, but it’s an exciting time, as the biggest commercial planes return to the sky.

Photo of Emirates a380 flying

Emirates Bringing Back More A380s

Emirates kept flying the Airbus A380 throughout much of the pandemic, but not often, and to very few cities. Countries are beginning to drop travel restrictions and reopen borders again, and that means people have long overdue needs to get away, or meet up.

Accordingly, Emirates is adding the Airbus A380 superjumbo onto a variety of routes, to cope with booming demand, mostly from leisure travel. Europe just recently added the USA to its safe list of countries – and many expect the US will drop blanket travel restrictions soon.

By July, Emirates pledges to have the A380 flying to at least 15 cities around the globe. That’s a welcome jump, but still only accounts for roughly a quarter of the fleet.

London, New York, Los Angeles, Toronto and Guangzhou have all featured with the aircraft in recent months, and a return of A380 flight services to Frankfurt, Washington DC, Paris, Vienna, Moscow, Munich, Manchester, Jeddah, Cairo and Amman will be added in the months to come.

a woman standing in a plane

A380 Is Unlike Any Other

When travel is booming, the A380 is an incredible asset. Emirates Airbus A380’s can carry up to 615 passengers on a single flight, depending on the configuration, which is larger than the population of some towns!

During the pandemic, many analysts speculated that most A380’s would be retired in the years to come; due to rising operating costs associated with four engines and a dip in demand. The prediction has already come true in some situations, but may not fully materialize in others.

Both Qatar and Air France said goodbye to their A380 fleets, and many, including British Airways and Qantas, are grounded. Emirates getting the planes back into the sky quickly, and also coping with delivery issues around the Boeing 777X, make keep these super jumbos flying, far longer than many expected.

Emirates aggressively roll its A380’s back out brings hope of a much faster than expected return to “normalcy” in travel, as businesses, family, friends and relatives look to reconnect.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. It’s sadly all Emirates PR hype.
    The frequencies are minimal, the routes are limited as are the numbers of aircraft returning to service.
    The reality is that where there was a 3 times daily service, there are now just 3 weekly in some cases.
    A majority of the expat A380 pilots who weren’t made redundant remain on a year’s unpaid leave, with most likely to have that period extended.
    This is simply Emirates doing what they do best – trying to convince everyone that all is rosy when the reality is totally different.

  2. It’s rather unfortunate that it has become difficult, expensive, or both to fly Emirates vaunted first class on awards. This one was on my bucket list but now just don’t see it happening. First world problems, but still a letdown.

  3. Wonder if Etihad will pull theirs out of mothballs as well? From my limited view (O’Hare airport) the last two trips have seemed back to normal. Hawaii (Oahu) was so crowded I thought it was spring break.

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