Next week marks 14 years since the Airbus A380 entered into service. Since the first flight with Singapore Airlines, the aircraft has been operated by 15 different airlines, with over 800,000 flights scheduled with the giant. Scheduled flights have operated to nearly 100 airports, which begs the question, which are the top Airbus A380 airports based on the number of movements?
To find out, we turned to our friends at Cirium. The data experts have access to schedules from each Airbus A380 operator for the duration of the jet’s time in service. To simplify things, we’re only looking at departures. After all, an aircraft must arrive at an airport to depart it. Without further ado, here are the top 10 A380 airports from the aircraft’s entry to service until the end of 2021.
10. New York – JFK
While often regarded as a hub of US aviation, New York’s JFK Airport isn’t the county’s busiest when it comes to the mighty Airbus A380. Over the past 14 years, the airport has welcomed 25,864 flights with eight airlines’ giant of the skies. Air France, Emirates, and Korean Airlines have all flown over 4,000 A380 flights to the city, while wet lease operator Hi Fly clocked just 12 scheduled movements.
9. Seoul Incheon – ICN
Seoul is the first airport on the list to also act as a base for a fleet of Airbus A380s. Interestingly, it is the only one that actually houses two airlines’ fleets. Seoul has handled 29,796 scheduled flights to the end of 2021. Unsurprisingly, Korean Airlines was responsible for the majority of flights at 17,084. With Asiana taking 8,038 flights, the home carriers accounted for 84% of the airport’s A380 operations.
8. Los Angeles International – LAX
We’re starting to move into serious numbers with Los Angeles International, which passes the 30,000 mark with 30,431 flights across nine carriers. The airport’s most prolific user thus far has been Qantas, with 7,012 flights. Before grounding its A380s, the airline flew to LAX from both Melbourne and Sydney.
7. Bangkok – BKK
As the second A380 base in the list, Bangkok Airport hides an exciting secret with 30,922 departures. The airport was home to the entire Thai Airways A380 fleet. Despite this, Thai Airways isn’t the airport’s most prolific A380 user. With 11,717 movements, Thai is eclipsed by Emirates with 14,739 scheduled departures. This makes Bangkok Emirates’ third busiest A380 airport, as it has been used as a stepping stone for flights to Hong Kong and Sydney.
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6. Sydney – SYD
Speaking of Sydney, the Australian aviation hub is another airport where Emirates eclipses the home carrier. Of 34,769 departures, Emirates is responsible for 11,690 (33%). Australian flag carrier Qantas accounts for slightly less with 10,452 scheduled departures. Like Los Angeles, Sydney has welcomed A380 aircraft from nine airlines.
5. Frankfurt – FRA
Frankfurt International Airport is the first of three European Airports in the top five. It’s an airport where Emirates is the third-largest user. Of 37,593 departures, 23,730 (63%) are attributed to the German flag carrier Lufthansa. Meanwhile, Singapore Airlines clocks in second with 5,797 flights. The airline was flying the A380 from Frankfurt to Singapore and New York.
Emirates comes in third place with 3,877 flights. Only looking forwards, Emirates will likely move into first place with a double daily rotation scheduled from October 31st, while Lufthansa has retired its entire A380 fleet.
4. Paris Charles De Gaulle – CDG
Heading to Germany’s neighbor, Paris Charles De Gaulle clocks in as the fourth busiest A380 airport. It is the first airport to surpass 40,000 A380 flights, with 42,224 scheduled to the end of 2021. Air France understandably comes in at the top with 20,193 departures, fewer than Lufthansa in Frankfurt.
The reason that Paris beats Frankfurt is to do with its other carriers. While Frankfurt has welcomed eight carriers with the A380, Paris has welcomed ten. Emirates accounts for 9,028 flights, while Singapore Airlines is third at the airport with 3,503 flights.
3. Singapore – SIN
Singapore Airport begins to turn the heat up. With the largest A380 fleet at delivery besides Emirates, Singapore Airlines has operated more departures from Singapore than all carriers at Paris combined with 46,606. Adding flights from Air France (227), British Airways (1,660), Emirates (5,004), Lufthansa (2,985), Qantas (6,351), and Thai (69), the combined total becomes 62,902 departures.
Like Los Angeles, Qantas flew to Singapore from both Melbourne and Sydney. The Sydney flights carried on to London Heathrow Airport. As the industry recovers, Qantas is taking a serious look at ultra-long-haul flights, instead of flying to London via Sydney, flights will operate non-stop from Darwin.
2. London Heathrow – LHR
Speaking of London, the second busiest Airbus A380 airport over the past 14 years is London Heathrow. The airport just surpasses Singapore with 64,130 departures. However, no carrier has come close to the number of flights Singapore Airlines operated from its home. The secret to London Heathrow’s success is its diversity.
11 carriers have flown the Airbus A380 to London Heathrow since the type entered service, making it one of the three most diverse A380 airports globally. The only others to have welcomed 11 carriers are Tokyo Narita (NRT) and Hong Kong (HKG). Heathrow retains its title as the world’s most diverse airport during aviation’s recovery, with four airlines planning to fly to the airport from December. Making up London Heathrow’s 64,310 departures are,
- Air France – 40
- British Airways – 14,903
- China Southern – 48
- Emirates – 18,740
- Etihad – 5,010
- Korean Airlines – 531
- Malaysian Airlines – 3,893
- Qanats – 6,384
- Qatar Airways – 3,703
- Singapore Airlines – 9,298
- Thai Airways – 1,580
1. Dubai International Airport – DXB
Dubai International Airport is the world’s busiest airport for the Airbus A380. The airport is home to Emirates, with a current fleet of 120 A380s. What is impressive is how much further ahead Dubai is compared to all the other airports. The airport has almost three times as much traffic as London Heathrow Airport, with most of this coming from Emirates. Surprisingly, only four airlines have sent the A380 to Dubai,
- Air France – 149
- British Airways – 47
- Emirates – 178,193
- Qantas – 7,181
Have you flown into any of these airports on the Airbus A380? Let us know which airports you’ve flown into with the A380 in the comments!