China Southern appears poised to retire its fleet of Airbus A380 superjumbo jets this weekend, marking another carrier to remove this aircraft from service.
China Southern Pulls Remaining A380 From Schedule – Is This The End?
While never a major A380 operator, China Southern maintained five A380 jets in its fleet. During the pandemic, it continued to operate the A380, representing the only A380 operator throughout much of 2020.
But earlier this year China Southern mothballed two of its five superjumbo jets in the California Mojave Desert, parked one in China and has not touched it in weeks, and now has pulled its final two jets from the schedule.
Earlier today, a China Southern A380 traveled from Amsterdam (AMS) to Guangzhou (CAN). Later today, China Southern will operate one final A380 trip to Los Angeles (LAX), under CZ327 and then CZ328 will take the A380 back to Guangzhou on Sunday night, November 6, 2022.
After that flight, the A380 is out of the schedule on all routes through the end of the scheduled (for the next 11 months). While no formal announcement has been made, Simple Flying reasonably suggests that this is a very strong sign the remainder of the fleet will be retired.
I had the chance to fly on a China Southern A380-800 from Guangzhou to Beijing in first class in 2017…and had a wonderful flight. In fact, China Southern is my favorite Mainland carrier (far better than my experiences on Air China and China Eastern) and I thought the onboard food and service was quite impressive and on the level of more highly regarded East Asian airlines.
- My Lucky Flight In China Southern First Class
- Bladder, Jelly Fish, And Other Delights in China Southern First Class
- China Southern A380 First Class Review
It appears that China Southern will operate its final A380 flight this weekend. Even if China Southern keeps 1-2 A380s active, it has already indicated it will retire these aircraft in the near future. This is a shame because the oldest A380-800 in the China Southern fleet was less than 12 years old. But as air travel evolves, it has become increasingly clear that there is little room for such a large jet.