British Airways has now sent a quarter of its Airbus A380 fleet to a Spanish Aircraft graveyard. All but one of the airline’s largest aircraft have flown recently as British Airways moves them away from Chateauroux for the winter.
The current crisis has been terrible for the world’s Airbus A380 aircraft and other four-engined widebodies such as the Airbus A340 and Boeing 747. Many aircraft from all three families have been retired at the end of their time. This is because airlines are placing an increased emphasis on efficiency while their cash reserves are threatened.
Another A380 to Spain
Simple Flying previously reported that British Airways had already sent two of its Airbus A380s, G-XLEA, and G-XLEB to Teruel in Spain. At the start of the year, many aviation enthusiasts wouldn’t be able to point out Teruel on a map. However, it has become infamous due to its capacity for storing unwanted aircraft.
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Yesterday G-XLEC flew to the facility to join its sisters. The aircraft had been in storage at Chateauroux. Yesterday it finally departed the facility at 15:52. The aircraft flew for one hour and 18 minutes before landing at the Spanish Aircraft graveyard, becoming the facility’s twelfth A380 resident when it landed at 17:10.
— Aeropuerto de Teruel, vuela la innovación (@aeropuerteruel) December 3, 2020
A final destination?
For the time being, British Airways seems committed to the future of the Airbus A380, with no sign that the type will be retired. These three aircraft will likely be joined by a fourth soon. However, British Airways previously said that this was for storage rather than a one-way trip.
One can’t help but notice that British Airways is sending its oldest A380s to Teruel. Doing so would make it easier for the airline to retire the aircraft if it desired. This year, the airline sent five 747s to the storage facility, but we all know what happened there.
While British Airways hasn’t given any other indication that it may retire any of its superjumbos fleet, Teruel is a final destination for many aircraft. As mentioned, it is currently home to twelve Airbus A380s. This consists of the three from British Airways, two from Air France, and seven from Lufthansa. The two from Air France and six of Lufthansa’s A380s have been retired by their respective airlines.
It is not just A380s being sent to the facility. Etihad has been sending a steady stream of A330s to the facility as they’ve been retired. The entirety of Lufthansa’s A340s and a 747-400 have also been sent to Teruel. However, the facility also took an Airbus A330 that had belonged to Air Italy recently.
Do you think the aircraft at Teruel will ever fly again? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!