Only 21 Routes: Where Is The Airbus A380 Flying Next Week?

Three airlines have A380 flights this coming week: Emirates; China Southern; and Korean Air. There are some 21 routes by the double-decker with a total of 267 round-trip flights. As you’d expect, it is almost fully about Emirates, with over nine in ten services (96%). We take a look at what’s happening in the week starting August 28th.

Emirates A380
Three airlines will use the A380 in the week starting August 28th. Photo: Emirates.

Just 11% of pre-pandemic A380 flights

It is easy to compare what is happening now to previous times. It isn’t always fair, but it is enlightening. In 2019, 13 airlines used the A380 on scheduled services in the same August week with a whopping 2,495 round-trip flights. There are now just 267.

These 13 operators included Qantas, which perhaps optimistically expects to resume flights by the quadjet in mid-2022. And it included multiple others that have since stop using the type, such as Qatar Airways and Etihad, along with British Airways, although it insists that they’ll be reactivated.

Qantas A380
Qantas was one of 13 airlines to use the A380 in the same period two years ago. Photo: Airbus.

Emirates has 16 A380 routes this week

As seen in the following map, Emirates will use the A380 on 16 routes this week across Europe, Africa, North America, and the Middle East. The airline’s A380s have various configurations, from 484 seats all the way up to 615 (no first class and fewer business seats). Only the Jordanian capital, Amman, will see the 615-seater and only on certain flights.

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Most services this week are scheduled by the 517-seater, with 427 seats in economy, 76 in business, and 14 in first. Zurich is an exception. It’ll be served by the lowest density aircraft (484 seats), with 389 in economy. The Swiss route will revert to the B777-300ER from September 1st.

Emirates A380 routes week starting August 28th 2021
Emirates is using the quadjet to all of these destinations this week. Image: GCMap.

Emirates’ A380 flights

Half of Emirates’ A380 routes will be to Europe, although three destinations in North America resumed in July. Heathrow climbs back from a seven-weekly operation in July when the United Arab Emirates was on the UK’s red list. It is now amber, meaning fully vaccinated travelers don’t need to quarantine on arrival, so the rise in service. While Manchester is presently by the B777-300ER, it’ll revert to A380-only from September 1st.

  1. Heathrow: 21 A380 departures in the week beginning July 7th
  2. Cairo: 14 weekly
  3. Paris CDG: 14
  4. Amman: 11
  5. New York JFK: 11
  6. Moscow Domodedovo: 7
  7. Frankfurt: 7
  8. Los Angeles: 7
  9. Munich: 7
  10. Vienna: 7
  11. Toronto: 5
  12. Washington Dulles: 4
  13. Zurich: 4 (see above)
  14. Jeddah: 3
  15. Manchester: 3
  16. Mauritius: 2
Emirates A380
Heathrow will see three A380 arrivals a day from Dubai. Photo: Getty Images.

China Southern: four routes from Guangzhou

China Southern has four bookable A380 routes from Guangzhou: to Amsterdam, Los Angeles, Paris CDG, and Tokyo Narita. They have just 10 round-trips in all. Amsterdam, CDG, and Narita are once-weekly, while Los Angeles has departures on Thursday and Saturday, leaving China at 21:30. Note that Guangzhou-Melbourne was also scheduled to operate, but it isn’t bookable.

China Southern A380
China Southern’s A380s have 506 seats: 428 in economy; 70 in business; and eight in first. Photo: Maarten Visser via Flickr.

Just one route for Korean Air

This week, Korean Air has only one A380 route: the 1,244-mile, sub-three-hour link from Seoul Incheon to Guangzhou. Flight KE865 leaves Incheon at 08:50 local time on September 1st. Korean Air plans to retire its double-deckers by 2026.

Do you plan to fly the A380 this year? Let us know in the comments.