Airlines are unsure about the A380 right now. Many planned to retire the aircraft as early as 2022, and in the near future, Airbus will stop making them anyway. Add in a global pandemic, and the crystal ball is looking pretty murky right now. Still, Emirates continues to fly the Airbus A380 to an increasing number of gateways.
Showcasing first class suites, their best business class and some of the most spacious economy seats found on any aircraft, the A380 is the flagship of the Emirates fleet, but unfortunately for travelers in the USA, or those bound there, it’ll be a while before the magnificent “whale” is found flying anywhere in the United States.
Emirates Pulls A380 From US Routes
Airlines are stuck on the defensive, responding to global border closures, new viral concerns and shaken passenger confidence. It’s precisely why Emirates became the first airline to introduce complimentary covid-19 cover for all passengers, with up to €150,000 in coverage, even if you move to another destination.
Despite the creative moves, demand for long haul travel isn’t recovering nearly as quickly as short haul, and mandatory covid-19 testing prior to all Emirates flights, and for entry into Dubai creates additional challenges to all potential travelers. In response to underwhelming demand, Emirates has adjusted their winter schedule and the A380 is a casualty for the North American market.
Emirates currently flies the A380 on select flights to: Amsterdam, Bangkok, Beijing, Cairo, Frankfurt, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, London Heathrow, Manchester, Mauritius, Mumbai, Munich, Paris and Shanghai.
The Airbus A380, once a regular fixture on the ever popular routes between Dubai, New York, Los Angeles, Boston and Washington DC has been pulled from US duty until at least March 27th, 2021, according to Routes Online. The moves take effect October 25th, 2020.
Poor cargo performance of the Airbus double decker, and lack of passenger demand means all US flying gateways, including New York, San Francisco, Boston, Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas, Miami, Chicago and Seattle will now be served by Emirates Boeing 777 fleet, with either the 777-200LR, or 777-300ER operating services. Sadly, most won’t be daily, either.
For passengers, this means a diminished flying experience in business class, featuring older seating styles without as much personal space, or seclusion. First class will still feature on select Boeing 777 aircraft, albeit sans showers, and a still excellent, but not quite as excellent economy cabin will factor on all flights.
For fans of the Emirates A380 in North America, it may be quite a while before the four engines and two impressive decks roar into the skies over the USA.