Qatar Airways CEO Hints That 5 A380s Could Fly Again After All

Qatar Airways CEO appears to have backtracked on his Airbus A380 stance ever so slightly, revealing that there is a possibility that up to half of his Airbus A380 could return to the skies. His disdain for the aircraft type does, however, suggest that this is very unlikely.

Qatar Airways, Airbus A380, Return
Qatar Airways’ CEO has hinted that there is a slight chance his Airbus A380s will fly again. Photo: Airbus

The A380 is the marmite of the aviation industry. It seems as though passengers either love it or hate it. The type has been deeply impacted by the pandemic, with many likely to never return to service. It had been assumed that there was no possibility of Qatar Airways’ A380s returning to service. Now, the airline’s CEO, Akbar Al Baker, has hinted that the possibility exists.

Five could return?

While being interviewed by FlightPlan earlier today, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker suggested that a chance the giant of the skies will return in its grey and purple livery exists. Al Baker said,

“There is a very small possibility that if at all we operate [the Airbus A380] I don’t think that would be more than five of Qatar Airways’ ten A380s going back”

Of course, it still seems as though the double-decker plane won’t return any time soon. Speaking further on the matter, Al Baker revealed three fundamental reasons the Airbus A380 has no post-pandemic future. His reasons are as follows,

  • There will not be enough passengers to fill them,
  • They can’t sit on the ground unused for an extended period,
  • People are environmentally conscious and want more fuel-efficient aircraft.
Qatar Airways, Airbus A380, Return
Pre-covid, the A380 had an essential role in the Qatar Airways network. Photo: Cirium

Now, the last point doesn’t come as a total surprise as Al Baker has previously argued that it is irresponsible to fly such inefficient aircraft, regardless of how much passengers love them. In May, Al Baker told Simple Flying that buying the Airbus A380 was Qatar Airways’ biggest mistake.

About Qatar Airways’ Airbus A380 fleet

Qatar Airways took delivery of its first Airbus A380 in September 2014. The aircraft, A7-APA, is 7.88 years old, according to ch-aviation.com. While Malaysia Airlines’ six Airbus A380 aircraft were all delivered within a year of each other, this is not the case at Qatar Airways. The youngest of the ten was delivered in April 2018 and is just 3.61. The fleet’s average age is exactly six years old.

Qatar Airways, Airbus A380, Return
Qatar Airways’ oldest Airbus A380 isn’t even ten years old. Photo: Airbus

Given the younger age of the aircraft, it would be a terrible shame to see them already going to waste. While the oldest aircraft has clocked up 26,456 flight hours across 3,518 flight cycles, the youngest has only flown 10,583 hours on 1,206 flights.

ch-aviation.com’s data shows that the average market value of a Qatar Airways Airbus A380 is $57.91 million, while the total fleet is worth $579.12 million. Sadly, the aircraft are unlikely to find another role flying if Qatar doesn’t bring them back.

Should Qatar Airways resume Airbus A380 flights? Let us know what you think and why in the comments below!

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