British Airways Won’t Retire The Airbus A380 Anytime Soon

Lovers of the Airbus A380 are in for some good news today! Following IAG’s capital market day presentation, it looks like the Airbus A380 won’t be going anywhere any time soon.

British Airways, Airbus A380, Club Suite
British Airways will keep flying the Airbus A380 for the foreseeable future. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

The Airbus A380 is the world’s largest passenger aircraft. However, despite the aircraft’s huge popularity with passengers, airlines around the world are already thinking of retiring it. Emirates has committed to keeping the giant in the skies until at least 2030, and now it seems as though British Airways intends to keep the giant of the skies flying for some time too. How do we know? Let’s take a look!

British Airways’ clues

While British Airways hasn’t confirmed how long they will keep flying the Airbus A380, there are some clues from the airline dotted around that show it will be a while at least. The clearest clue to date came from the International Airlines Group’s capital market day presentation earlier today.


Hidden away in the slide about the Club Suite rollout, British Airways has indicated plans for the Airbus A380.


British Airways aims to have finished rolling out the new club suite business class cabin to its London Heathrow fleet by 2025. According to a presentation from IAG, British Airways’ Airbus A380 aircraft will be the last to receive the new Club Suite.

British Airways, Airbus A380, Club Suite
British Airways will roll the Club Suite across its Heathrow fleet by 2025. Image: IAG

BA’s A380s will start to receive the new Club World suite in 2023, however, the final A380 won’t have the Club Suite until 2025. One would expect that this means the aircraft will stay in the skies until the late 2020s at least.


As is the case with any business, British Airways doesn’t want to be spending money it will not see a return on. As a result, we know that the airline will likely not retire the aircraft for at least three or four years after fitting the Club Suite. After all, there’s no use in fitting something you’re about to get rid of.

Very happy with the A380

In February Willie Walsh told how he was very happy with the Airbus A380. At a oneworld press conference attended by Simple Flying, the IAG Chief commented,

“We’re pleased with [the A380], pleased we ordered the aircraft and we’re absolutely committed to continuing operating the 12 aircraft that we have in the fleet at the moment.”

British Airways, Airbus A380, Club Suite
Willie Walsh said the carrier was very happy with the A380. Photo: British Airways

Additionally, at the time Mr Walsh indicated that he would consider ordering more A380s, but only at a far more attractive price. However, just 13 days later Airbus pulled the plug on the Airbus A380 project, canning the possibility of any more new A380s for British Airways.

Would you like British Airways to keep flying the Airbus A380, or has its time come? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!


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Paul Spindler

BA is probably in the best position to acquire more A380’s on the second hand market, particularly with Lufthansa looking to retire several frames soon.


Apparently, BA is not particularly enthusiastic about this idea because of the huge costs involved in changing the interiors (apparently $50 million per plane)…but maybe they’ll change their minds…


Best bird for long flights, from customer perspective that is.

James William Scott

Keep flying the A380 British Airways

James William Scott

Yes keep flying the A380 British airways

Mel James

The best aircraft for long haul flights

Mel James

Best aircraft got long haul flights

Michael O'Brien

Far superior to any of Boeing’s offerings including the 787 from a passenger perspective. Well done BA – maybe a few other airlines should rethink their position.


not just BA every airline that has a380s keep flying them they are king on the commercial skys


Best bird for a long journey even in the Economy Class!


Best bird for a long haul even in the Economy Class Sardin Stack!!!


Best bird for a long haul even in the Economy Class Sardine stack!!!


Best bird for long haul even in the Economic Sardine stack!!!


The A380’s are a gem for BA considering there will be few additional slots at Heathrow for at least the next 10 years until the 3rd runway is built. I also wouldn’t be surprised if they obtained more from the second hand market.


I think BA should keep the A380. In fact they should put pressure on Airbus to produce more for them

Paul Newman

The best ones to buy would be the Qatar ones.



Parker West

If BA could fill ‘em and if the 380 half to 3/4’s filled could compete economically with newer twin engine aircraft maybe BA would use them in 747-400 years. I suspect the “we’d take even more, (for OUR price)” remark was more flippant than truthful. Willie knows he can buy used 380’s from among those sitting on the shelf out of service. Singapore Airlines has either returned a few to Airbus or is in the process of doing so and with production ending the secondary market should be cutting prices dramatically. Granted Airbus may prefer to part out the two… Read more »


As pointed out above, the impediment to buying second-hand A380s appears to be the high cost of modifying the interior (if we’re to believe Willie Walsh). For a wet least operator like HiFly — which doesn’t need any particular interior color or seating type — the luxury interior on a second-hand A380 from Singapore or Qatar is perfectly acceptable. However, BA needs to have uniform interiors across its fleet, and it certainly would not like to fly a bird with a recognizable interior from one of its competitors…


I stopped believing anything Willie Walsh said a long while ago. Passengers may love the aircraft but that opinion isn’t shared by many BA flight crew and technical staff who very quickly renamed the A380s SJPs – butt ugly, high maintenance and liable to go to pieces at the slightest excuse. I suspect Walsh is trying to put a brave face on the fact that BA’s decision to buy the aircraft was a costly mistake that diverted much-needed funding from their overall re-equipment programme.


I love the A380. One of the few airliners quiet enough for me to sleep. Especially all the way aft and down below engine level. Prefer Lufthansa. Never been to UK and, being allergic to cold rain, I wish to continue avoiding UK.

Helen Moses

Love the A380.
Hope Boeing aren’t planning on forcing the Max down out throats. I will never fly in one.