While many Airbus A380s have spent the majority of 2020 firmly on the ground, one airline has remained committed to operating the type. That is the superjumbo’s largest customer, Emirates. But just how many aircraft is Emirates flying? We decided to find out.
For most of the A380’s life, Emirates has been the type’s largest user. Indeed, while the second-largest fleet of A380s maxed out with Singapore Airlines at 24 aircraft, Emirates currently has 115 in its fleet, with seven more to be delivered. As the A380 makes up half of Emirates’ fleet, it would struggle to restore capacity without using some aircraft. Almost the entire 777 fleet is now active, according to Planespotters.net.
So just how many A380s are active?
As mentioned, Emirates has a fleet of 115 A380s, with its newest aircraft being delivered just days ago. Since the airline’s entire fleet was grounded by government order in late March, the airline has utilized only 19 of its 115 aircraft, equating to just 12%.
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However, not all of these aircraft were in use at once. The airline gradually began reintroducing the A380 to service from mid-July onwards, with the first destinations served by the giant being London and Paris. Over half a month, a total of 12 Airbus A380s were reactivated. The graph below shows when each aircraft was flying for the airline. To open a larger version, right-click it and select ‘Open image in new tab.’
However, not all of these aircraft remained active. Indeed, in early-to-mid October, Emirates re-parked four of its giants. This meant that the number of operational aircraft dropped down to just eight.
The drop in capacity only lasted until November, when Emirates once again had 12 active A380s, although the additional four were not the four that had been sent back to parking. This increase in numbers coincided with the airline’s mini freighter push.
Then towards the end of November, 14 A380s were active, with A6-EEL and A6-EEM joining the ranks. However, data from FlightRadar24.com suggests that these two may have been stored once again, as both have since flown back to Dubai World Central, an airport that has become an A380 parking lot. These were the oldest A380s flown by Emirates since its fleet was grounded, with an average age of 7.7 years.
Welcome to the fleet A6-EVL
Simple Flying just reported how A6-EVL had become Emirates’ first A380 delivery of 2020 at the weekend. The airline wasted no time in putting her to use. This morning the brand new aircraft operated flight EK 29 on the airline’s flagship route to London.
Having taken its first flight in July 2019, the aircraft is already over a year old. With the addition of A6-EVL to the airline’s active fleet, Emirate’s A380 count rises to 13. Two more A380s are due to be delivered before the end of the year.
When did you last fly on an Emirates Airbus A380? Let us know in the comments!