The Airbus A380 is the world’s largest passenger aircraft. However, only a handful are currently flying with the remainder parked up. But just where are these giants parked? Simple Flying investigates.
There are currently 237 Airbus A380s “active” with airlines around the world. Of course, the word active is used very loosely as many are facing a lengthy storage period, if not total retirement. This figure excludes the few aircraft yet to be delivered, and those already formally retired by Air France and Singapore Airlines. However, it includes the six that won’t fly for Lufthansa again. This is as we don’t yet know which six aircraft the airline has decommissioned.
Emirates is the largest operator of the Airbus A380 with 115 aircraft. However, excluding Emirates, the average A380 fleet size is nine aircraft. Currently, the smallest A380 operator is the wet-lease specialist Hi Fly.
When did airlines ground the aircraft?
China Southern is currently the only aircraft still flying the Airbus A380. The airline has five aircraft, of which four seem to be actively still flying. As you can see from the graph below, Emirates makes up a large part of the grounded Airbus A380 story.
The majority of the UAE flag carrier’s A380s were grounded in the run-up to a flight ban enacted on the 24th of March by the UAE authorities. Only one aircraft from Emirates has flown passengers during April. By the 29th of March, only 11% of the world’s fleet remained flying.
So, where are the Airbus A380s stored?
Most Airbus A380 operators have stored their aircraft together across one or two locations according to data from FlightRadar24.com. Two planes are currently in Manila for heavy maintenance. One from Asiana Airlines, and another from British Airways.
Three operators have Airbus A380s parked across three locations in the United Arab Emirates. Emirates, the largest A380 operator, has parked its A380s across two airports, Dubai International and Dubai World Central. Meanwhile, Etihad’s ten aircraft, along with one Qantas aircraft are parked up in Abu Dhabi.
Other places of interest include France, Spain, the United States, and Australia. British Airways is storing three-quarters of its A380s in Chateauroux, France. Meanwhile, One Air France A380s, and Hi Fly’s only A380 are in Tarbes, where two others of the type have already been scrapped.
This weekend Air France ferried two of the aircraft down to Teruel, a Spanish aircraft graveyard. Additionally, Singapore Airlines ferried four to Alice Springs in the Australian desert. The three aircraft in Los Angeles are from Qantas, located specifically at the airline’s western hemisphere maintenance base.
When did you last fly on an Airbus A380? Let us know your experience in the comments!