Middle East giant Emirates is seriously ramping up its capacity. In a brief tweet posted today, the airline confirmed it would be reactivating some of its A380 fleet for operations into Europe as soon as next month. From July 15th, the superjumbo will be making a return to London and Paris, with more destinations added later.
Emirates is reactivating the giant of the skies
Just as we were beginning to think the giant of the skies’ days were numbered, Emirates has confirmed the return of the A380 in less than a month. In a tweet posted today, the airline confirmed it will begin reactivating the fleet in mid-July, with the superjumbo making its first flights from Dubai to Europe.
— Emirates Airline (@emirates) June 23, 2020
Right now, Emirates is operating all its passenger flights on the Boeing 777. According to Luchvaartnieuws, the first flights of the A380 will be to London Heathrow and Paris Charles de Gaulle. Schiphol in Amsterdam will be added to the timetable from August 1st.
The news of the A380s return comes as Dubai opens its doors to tourists once more. From July 7th, the city-state is set to begin allowing international tourists for the first time since March, although there will be some strict rules in place for those wishing to holiday there.
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Emirates stands by the superjumbo
Emirates has always stood by its decision to operate the A380, where other airlines have struggled to make it profitable. Its distinctive hub and spoke network lends itself perfectly to shuttling large numbers of people from east to west and vice versa, giving it the demand needed to make the A380 work.
As the coronavirus crisis hit, the A380 was one of the first jets to be grounded. One by one, operators around the world sent the giant plane to storage, with many unlikely to ever return to the global fleet.
Emirates, too, grounded its fleet, and there were concerns for the future of the type in its fleet, with the CEO Tim Clark quoted as saying the A380 was “over” already. Indeed, the carrier has been talking to Airbus about potentially not taking the full remainder of A380s left to be delivered, as it anticipates a slow return of previous travel demand.
However, those fears were quashed last month when Clark confirmed that none were planned for an early retirement. He said that,
“[The A380 has a] place in the Emirates international network on the scale it has before. Albeit not today or fully next year, but the year after, I think there will be a place for it, and I think it is going to be extremely popular.”
Ready to go
Throughout the crisis, Emirates had kept its A380s ticking over. In an interview hosted by Aviation Week, Clark noted that the fleet was being kept active, ready for a swift return. He said,
“[The A380s] are on a monthly maintenance schedule, which means they are flown every month, so every single one of the aircraft flies. Pilots keep current on recency … with these aircraft.”
Keeping the aircraft, and their pilots, ticking over in this manner is going to be key to a swift reactivation. Mothballing aircraft for extended periods is not only expensive to reverse but takes some time too. As such, it seems Emirates has made a great decision, one that will enable it to bring the A380 back into service rapidly.
Will you be pleased to see the A380 flying in the Emirates livery again? Let us know in the comments.