Features

The A380 superjumbo: an update

4 Jan 2023 by BusinessTraveller
Emirates A380

The first Airbus A380 aircraft was delivered to Singapore Airlines in 2007, and there have been 14 customers for the double decker superjumbo.

Emirates is by far the biggest operator, having taken delivery of just under half (123) of the total 251 superjumbos built.

In February 2019 Airbus confirmed plans to wind down production of the aircraft, and Emirates took delivery of the final A380 in December 2021.

The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent global travel slowdown led many A380 operators to either place their superjumbos into storage or retire them completely, but as demand for flights rebounds the remaining fleets are gradually coming back into service.

Here is our round-up of the latest situation regarding the A380 fleets across all 14 operators. We’ll try our best to keep it up to date, but please do leave a comment if you think we’ve got anything wrong…

AIR FRANCE

Air France A380

ANA

ANA's A380 sea turtle livery
  • How many A380s did ANA order? Three.
  • How many have been delivered? Three between 2019 and 2021, with the first flight operating on May, 2019 between Tokyo Narita and Honolulu.
  • Is the airline currently operating the A380? Yes.
  • How many of the fleet are flying? Three.
  • Configuration: You can read about the four class seating on the ANA A380 here.
  • Interesting fact: The livery of ANA’s A380 depicts the sea turtle, or “Honu” – considered a symbol of good luck and prosperity in Hawaii where the majority of the carrier’s superjumbo flights operate to.

ASIANA

Asiana A380
  • How many A380s did Asiana order? Six.
  • How many have been delivered? Six, with the first flight taking off at the end of 2013 and operating on routes to Los Angeles and New York.
  • Is the airline currently operating the A380? Yes.
  • How many of the fleet are flying? Three.
  • Where are they flying to? Los Angeles and Bangkok.
  • Configuration: You can see Asiana’s A380 seat plan here.

BRITISH AIRWAYS

British Airways A380
  • How many A380s did British Airways order? 12.
  • How many have been delivered? 12, with the first entering service in 2013.
  • Is the airline currently operating the A380? Yes.
  • How many of the fleet are flying? 11.
  • Where are they flying to? Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Dubai, Johannesburg, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco and Washington DC
  • Configuration: Four classes carrying 469 people. You can read more about the configuration here.
  • Review: Business Traveller reviewed Club World on BA’s A380 in 2013, and World Traveller Plus in 2015.

CHINA SOUTHERN

China Southern A380
  • How many A380s did China Southern order? Five. China Southern was the first Chinese carrier to take delivery of an A380 aircraft.
  • How many have been delivered? Five in the autumn of 2011. The aircraft made its maiden flight from the Toulouse Airbus base to Hamburg in March of that year.
  • Is the airline currently operating the A380? No.
  • How many of the fleet are flying? None – China Southern has retired its A380 fleet.
  • Configuration: For information on layout and previous routes click here.

EMIRATES

Emirates takes delivery of 123rd and final A380

ETIHAD AIRWAYS

Etihad Airways A380
  • How many A380s did Etihad Airways order? Ten.
  • How many have been delivered? Ten. The first flight was in December 2014 on the Abu-Dhabi-London Heathrow route.
  • Is the airline currently operating the A380? No. Etihad’s fleet of A380s is currently grounded, but the carrier recently announced that it would bring four of its superjumbos back into service in summer 2023.
  • How many of the fleet are flying? None.
  • Configuration one The Residence suite, nine first class suites, 70 business class seats and 417 economy seats.
  • Review: Business Traveller has reviewed Etihad’s A380 service in both economy and business class.

KOREAN AIR

Korean Air A380 (istock.com/Jozsef Soos)
  • How many A380s did Korean Air order? Ten
  • How many have been delivered? Ten, with the first flight taking place in June 2011 on the Seoul Incheon – Tokyo Narita route.
  • Is the airline currently operating the A380? Yes.
  • How many of the fleet are flying? Five.
  • Where are they flying to? Bangkok and New York JFK.
  • Configuration: A total of 407 seats across three classes – 12 Kosmo Suites, 94 Prestige business class seats and 301 economy seats.

LUFTHANSA

Lufthansa airline
  • How many A380s did Lufthansa order? 14.
  • How many have been delivered? 14. The first A380 entered service in June 2010 with a maiden flight between Frankfurt and Tokyo.
  • Is the airline currently operating the A380? No. Lufthansa has sold six of its A380s, with the remaining eight currently in storage as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. However in June 2022 the carrier announced plans to return an undecided number of its superjumbos into service in summer 2023.
  • How many of the fleet are flying? None.
  • Configuration: You can read more about the layout and configuration of Lufthansa’s A380 here.
  • Review: Our Tried and Tested review of the business class seat on Lufthansa’s A380 aircraft can be read here.

MALAYSIA AIRLINES

Malaysia Airlines A380

QANTAS

Qantas A380 flies over Sydney

QATAR AIRWAYS

Qatar Airways’ Airbus A380
  • How many A380s did Qatar Airways order? Ten.
  • How many have been delivered? Ten. The carrier’s superjumbo made its maiden flight from the Airbus base in Toulouse to Hamburg in September 2013.
  • Is the airline currently operating the A380? Yes.
  • How many of the fleet are flying? Eight. The airline grounded its A380 fleet during the Covid-19 pandemic, but has gradually been bringing it superjumbo fleet back into service, both to cover for its grounded A350 aircraft, and to fulfill demand during the recent FIFA World Cup.
  • Where are they flying to? Bangkok, London, Perth and Sydney.
  • Configuration: 517 seats – eight in first class, 48 in business class and 461 in economy.
  • Review: You can read our business class review of Qatar Airways’ inaugural A380 flight here, and more recently we reviewed the carrier’s A380 business class service on a flight to Doha during the World Cup.

SINGAPORE AIRLINES

Singapore Airlines Airbus A380
  • How many A380s did Singapore Airlines order? 24. Singapore Airlines was the launch customer of the Airbus A380, with the aircraft entering commercial service on October 25, 2007, flying from Singapore to Sydney.
  • How many have been delivered? 24, although 12 has since been retired, leaving 12 superjumbos in SIA’s fleet.
  • Is the airline currently operating the A380? Yes.
  • How many of the fleet are flying? Ten.
  • Where are they flying to? Singapore Airlines’ A380 currently serves worldwide destinations on its network including London, Sydney, Frankfurt, Hong Kong Mumbai, New Delhi and New York.
  • Configuration: 471 seats – six suites, 78 business class seats, 44 premium economy seats and 343 economy seats.
  • Review: Business Traveller has reviwed SIA’s A380 cabins on several occasions – to browse our reviews click here. We most recently reviewed the retofitted business class product on the aircraft in early 2022.

THAI AIRWAYS

Thai Airways A380
  • How many A380s did Thai Airways order? Six.
  • How many have been delivered? Six. Thai Airways’ first A380 entered service on September 26, 2012.
  • Is the airline currently operating the A380? No.
  • How many of the fleet are flying? None.
  • Plans for the future? Thai Airways A380s are inactive and as spokesperson for the airline told Business Traveller the aircraft “are currently under resumption studies”. It was announced in Thai media recently that two of the airline’s A380s are up for sale.
  • Configuration: For information on Thai Airways’ A380 layout and configuration click here.
  • Review: Business Traveller last reviewed the Royal Silk (business class) product on a Thai Airways A380 flight between Hong Kong and Bangkok in 2016.

Words: Felicity Cousins

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