Just 3 British Airways A380s Remain In Chateauroux

Just three British Airways Airbus A380s remain at the Chateauroux storage facility in France. The airline’s entire superjumbo fleet had spent the summer in storage at the Airport. However, now the British flag carrier is ferrying the aircraft to Spain to spend the winter.

British Airways, Airbus A380, Storage
Just three British Airways A380s remain in Chateauroux. Photo: Getty Images

Despite carrying 10% of all London Heathrow’s passengers in 2016, the Airbus A380 has been mostly absent from the skies above London since March. As passengers canceled travel plans, there was no need for such large planes. While Emirates resumed A380 flights to London earlier this year, British Airways didn’t. However, there has recently been a little flurry in British Airways Airbus A380 activity at London’s primary airport.

Three A380s left at Chateauroux

This summer, the entire British Airways Airbus A380 fleet was at Chateauroux Airport in France. The planes were all lined up on one of the airport’s taxiways, which one of them even managed to damage due to its weight.

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However, over the past month, the birds have slowly flown the nest. Indeed, only three of British Airways’ 12 A380s now remain at Chateauroux. These are G-XLEC, G-XLEE, and G-XLEH. These aircraft will likely also leave in the future as British Airways stores its fleet for winter.

British Airways, Airbus A380, Storage
The airline has so far sent half of its aircraft south to Spain for the winter. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

Some at their home in London

A handful of Airbus A380s have returned to their London Heathrow home, where British Airways has its A380 maintenance base. The aircraft at London Heathrow are,

  • G-XLED – Returned November 27th
  • G-XLEJ – Returned November 6th
  • G-XLEK – Returned November 20th

Earlier in the summer, the entire Airbus A380 fleet belonging to British Airways made the journey north to London. They flew up to London one by one for maintenance at British Airways’ main hub, before returning to Chateauroux to have their engines covered once more.

The remainder in Spain

The remainder of the BA A380 fleet has already been ferried to Spain, where it will spend the winter. However, the aircraft has been sent to two separate sites. Four have been transported to Madrid’s Barajas Airport, home to British Airways’ sister airline Iberia. These aircraft are,

  • G-XLEF – Flew to Madrid November 11th
  • G-XLEG – Flew to Madrid November 12th
  • G-XLEI – Flew to Madrid November 13th
  • G-XLEL – Flew to Madrid November 21st

That leaves just two of British Airways’ Airbus A380s unaccounted for, G-XLEA and G-XLEB. These two aircraft are BA’s oldest A380s with an age of eight years and 7.6 years, respectively. However, while flying to Spain, they didn’t fly to Madrid. Instead, they flew to Teruel, an aircraft graveyard.

British Airways, Airbus A380, Storage
British Airways previously sent its 747s to Teruel for storage. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

The airline did say earlier this year that four of its A380s would be sent to storage, of which these could be two. While Simple Flying understands that British Airways doesn’t intend to retire any A380 aircraft at this stage, there are two slightly worrying things about being sent to Teruel.

The site is typically a final landing site for many aircraft, including other airlines’ A380s. Additionally, British Airways sent five Boeing 747s to the site for storage earlier this year. They have since been retired.

When did you last fly on a British Airways Airbus A380? Let us know in the comments!

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