29 MARCH 2021


© 2022 Business Travel News Ltd.

Article from BTNews 29 MARCH 2021

BA and the A380

British Airways (BA) intends to return its Airbus A380s to service, chief executive Sean Doyle told a virtual Royal Aeronautical Society conference on 15 March. He explained that the A380 “works very well in a number of larger markets.”

The type is “an important part of our fleet, and at the minute our plans are to obviously fly it again,” he said.  No indication was given when that might be and he did not give a timeline for its return.

BA has 12 A380s – which are all currently in storage – previously used on long-haul destinations including Johannesburg, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Singapore.

These A380s are controversial with their layout, the main deck consisting of First, Club World and World Traveller, whilst upstairs it is Club World, World Traveller Plus and World Traveller.  What this means in practice is that two travellers, both booked in Club World, can find themselves in separate cabins with no chance of swapping seats with helpful passengers.  The arrangement can also cause problems with catering, the two Club World cabins having individual galleys.   

Cirium Data (as of 16 March) shows Emirates, the largest operator of the plane (with 15 in service), while China Southern Airlines (with five) and Korean Air (with one) are the only other airlines currently using the aircraft. With Emirates taking the final aircraft, 254 have flown including development aircraft.




Index/Home page

OUR READERS' FINEST WORDS (All times and dates are GMT)

All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum

Rishi Parwani, UK

When fare hunting on the BA website yesterday, I saw that the A380 was scheduled on some LHR-DXB-LHR sectors. Look forward to seeing more A380s in the sky while we still have them.

John Davidson, France

A BA 380 once flew me in First from Dulles to Heathrow after a technical problem was solved. The captain came out to chat and I asked about the repair. I forget what the problem was but I remarked on the technician's ability to solve it. The captain's reply was that the technician was fully certified, of course. But you'd prefer one who'd perhaps had more experience fixing the problem, just as for an operable back problem you'd prefer an orthopedic surgeon who was not just certified but had had experience with the operation. And when you think about the network where the plane flies, you can imagine all the technicians around the world who need adequate, certified training. Perhaps it's often something "small" and you can let it go until you reach Heathrow or Singapore again, for example, but still. The only time I flew a BA Concorde it had engine problem mid-Atlantic, so the pilot told us he was switching to the backup intake filter. My comment was that if the first one failed, the backup would. And it did. So the plane descended from 60,000 feet to 30,000 and the passenger next to me, a Concorde warrior who should have known better, regretted we'd be late into JFK. To which I replied, knowing a little something about the Concorde, this plane isn't landing in JFK because at subsonic speeds it didn't have the range. And indeed we landed in Gander, a 747 picked us up, I missed the two appointments that I needed the Concorde for, and my weekend was lost. My Dubai travel agent who'd got the upgrade for me wound up refunding even more than I'd paid for it, and of course I got the miles and the experience, but not my two appointments.

William Tahil, France

4 engines with the same total thrust as 2 will have higher propulsive efficiency than the twin. Better field performance. Better wing loading distribution. Higher ground clearance. Better EFATO performance and safety margin. Etc.