As the airline tries to keep up with a surge in travel demand over the summer, nearly all of British Airways’ 12 Airbus A380 superjumbos have been brought out of long-term storage and are not yet back in service.
The double-deck aircraft arrived in Chicago and Vancouver earlier this week, while the British Airways A380 will arrive in Dallas Fort Worth on July 1 after a four-month delay.
When travel demand plunged at the start of the epidemic, British Airways swiftly grounded its A380s, but unlike other airlines, BA made the unusual choice to keep its superjumbos near to hand in Madrid so that they could be quickly reintroduced to service as soon as passenger demand increased.
That time came for British Airways in November 2021, when the carrier first returned five A380s to operation. For the first few weeks, the massive aircraft flew short-haul flights between London and Frankfurt to provide crew training before returning to long-haul flights.
The airline has now reintroduced nine of its A380s into service, with the 469-seater jets flying regularly to Dubai, Miami, and Los Angeles.
Because Lufthansa has still to determine whether or not to revive its fleet of A380s after sending them into deep storage, British Airways is presently the only operator of the superjumbo.
At the very least, Lufthansa has the option of flying the A380 again. At the height of the pandemic, Air France offloaded its A380s, despite the fact that the Paris-based carrier had already planned a gradual phase-out of the aircraft, and the epidemic merely expedited its demise.
The A380, on the other hand, is still going strong for Emirates, which now has 118 in its fleet, with “almost half” of them in operation. Qatar Airways has also “reluctantly” reintroduced its A380s to the sky, while Etihad Airways is yet to decide whether or not to reintroduce its superjumbos.
After ex-Director of Brand and Customer Experience Tom Stevens labeled the present cabins as “quite outdated” earlier this year, British Airways is currently working on a new interior design for its A380s.
According to Stevens, the A380s will be refreshed soon, with an update to the Club Suite and new First Class seats probably.
Cabin crews were involved in the new design in the hopes that the layout would be arranged in such a way that it would eliminate some of the service issues that have plagued other aircraft.