Despite the long agony it is going through, British Airways has reinforced its confidence in the future of the A380, the largest passenger aircraft in the world. New airline CEO, Sean Doyle told The Independent that the Airbus aircraft is in the future.
“The A380 isn’t flying at the minute but it is in our plans for the future rebuild of the airline,” said Doyle who noted however not knowing “exactly when we will put the A380 back into service is something that we’re not clear on.”
British Airways has 12 Airbus A380s in its fleet that are in storage in various locations such as Madrid, Teruel, Doha and at Heathrow Airport, the company’s hub.
The traditional carrier has suffered greatly from British government lockdowns and travel restrictions to try to curb the coronavirus pandemic, which has dramatically reduced its passenger demand over the past 12 months.
Currently, BA operates few long-haul flights and has used more efficient twin-engine aircraft such as the Airbus A350 and the Boeing 777 and 787. Last year, the carrier retired its 747-400, of which it became the largest operator in the world of the passenger variant.
Even so, British Airways has gone against the trend to retire the A380. The four-engine aircraft is configured with four classes and 469 seats, 42% more than the A350-1000, the aircraft with the highest capacity in activity – and which does not offer the 1st class.
However, the A380’s return to BA may take a while. Doyle said he believed that demand would not return to pre-pandemic levels anytime soon.. “Our best guess is 2023-24,” he predicted.