China Southern Airlines (ZNH), the country’s sole operator of the Airbus A380, may retire its fleet by the end of 2022, according to Chinese media outlet Sohu.com, citing sources within the firm.
The airline’s fleet currently consists of five A380s. Three of the carrier’s A380s (registrations B-6140, B6139, and B-6138) have recently been in operation, flying from Guangzhou to places in Australia, Europe, and the United States, according to Flightradar24.com tracking data.
This isn’t the first time China Southern has alluded to the widebody’s demise. Guoxiang Wu, senior vice president of China Southern Airlines (ZNH), stated in 2021 that the fleet of Airbus A380 aircraft may be terminated due to high operational expenses and uncertain foreign travel recovery.
“The largest aircraft in our fleet, such as Airbus A380, is still under our consideration on how we can solve this problem,” Guoxiang Wu said during the CAPA Live event on April 14, 2021.
Wu added: “Not only for China Southern but also for many airlines, we must be thinking about the A380 and whether it’s too large for the routes.”
In October 2011, Airbus delivered the first Airbus A380 to China Southern Airlines (ZNH). As a result, the airline became the world’s seventh Super Jumbo operator, as well as China’s first.