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British Airways: A380 is “In Our Plans for the Future Rebuild of the Airline”

While many airlines are permanently grounding their double-deck Airbus A380 aircraft, British Airways says it will remain a part of their future. Speaking to a U.K.-based newspaper, new chief executive Sean Doyle said the carrier will continue to operate them as they look towards future recovery.

When the COVID-19 pandemic comes to an end, British Airways may be one of the few airlines continuing to operate the superjumbo Airbus A380 jet. In an interview with The Independent, new chief executive Sean Doyle committed his support to flying the double-deck aircraft in the future.

Boeing 747 Remains Grounded, but A380 Could Come Back In the Future

British Airways permanently grounded their Boeing 747 fleet in July 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Then-CEO Alex Cruz commented that the novel Coronavirus outbreak forced the carrier to become “more environmentally friendly,” and “reduce the size of our business to reflect the impact” of the pandemic.

However, speaking out five months after taking the top spot at the airline, Doyle said that the A380 would still be part of the future British flag carrier. The actual timing of flying the four-class, 469-seat aircraft is yet to be determined.

“The A380 isn’t flying at the minute but it is in our plans for the future rebuild of the airline,” Doyle told The Independent. “Exactly when we will put the A380 back into service is something that we’re not clear on.”

If British Airways continues to operate the A380, they may be the only European airline to continue to use it for passenger operations. The virus outbreak caused Air France to fly their final A380 in June 2020, while Lufthansa announced in March 2021 they would permanently ground their superjumbos.

Although British Airways had the largest fleet of Boeing 747 aircraft among passenger carriers, they will ultimately be replaced by newer, more efficient aircraft. Doyle notes the Airbus A350 will be the replacement for the “Queen of the Skies.”

Business Travel May Not Return Until 2024 for British Airways

In the interview, Doyle noted that for the immediate future, the flag carrier will continue to operate as a smaller airline. He said British Airways does not anticipate returning to post-pandemic levels until somewhere between 2023 and 2024. With the U.K. travel minister suggesting international travel could open up by May 17, the airline is seeing more booking take place – which could lead to a travel spike in the summer months lead by family and leisure travelers.

“Many people have been separated from their family and their loved ones over the course of the last 12 months,” Doyle told The Independent. “That is a segment we see very keen and able to travel.”

Cedar Jet October 2, 2021

GET RID of those god awful nightmare 'club world' seats on the A380, 787 and 777.

mogollon75 March 18, 2021

Smart move. We are moving to an era of fewer flights with bigger planes. BA will be better positioned than some others.

Danwriter March 17, 2021

The A380: The F-35 of commercial aircraft.

edgewood49 March 16, 2021

Where did Kirby come into this thread? To me the "Queen of the skies' was the plane to fly the BA 380 had/has a horrible biz section

Spanish March 16, 2021

With Heathrow being slot-restricted, BA really could benefit from keeping the jet in the fleet.