Qatar Airways has announced plans to bring back its Airbus A380 into service despite earlier statements suggesting there was no future for the superjumbo jet.
Qatar Airways To Reactivate A380 This Autumn
Speaking to Executive Traveler, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker seemed to lament that the A380s would return to service.
“I think by early November we’ll be starting to fly the A380s again. At the moment we are looking at flying five, but we may have to fly all ten.”
In January, Al Baker had heaped scorn on the A380 and expressed little desire to operate them:
“This is the worst aircraft when it comes to emissions that is flying today. That is why we have decided that we will not operate them for the foreseeable future – and even when we will operate them, we will only operate half of the numbers we have.”
In recent days, Qatar Airways had even taken a write-off of half its A380 fleet, part of its’ massive multi-billion dollar loss. Even now, Al Baker seems perturbed by returning the A380s into service, adding, “We grounded the A380s at the beginning of the pandemic, and we never wanted to fly them again.”
The culprit is not just overwhelming demand for travel. More directly, the problem is the Airbus A350 is currently grounded by Qatari regulators over safety concerns, leaving a huge gap in the Qatar Airways fleet.
“Unfortunately, with the issues we are having with the Airbus A350s that have been grounded by our regulator, we have no alternative…but to fly the A380s.”
As a result, engineering checks have already begun and furloughed A380 pilots have been recalled to begin training, which will include a mix of simulator time and 2-3 weeks of flights without passengers onboard.
At this time, A380 routes have not been announced. The return of the A380 marks the return of first class to Qatar Airways.
Qatar Airways is also recruiting pilots from British Airways and re-activating some A330 jets as well.
Facing increased demand coupled with a problematic A350 fleet, Qatar Airways is activating its superjumbo A380 jet. In a surprise that I can only hope will be replicated at other airlines, the four-engine jet will take to the skies as early as November.
Are you excited about the Qatar Airways A380 return?
> Read More: Qatar Airways A380 First Class Review
image: Airbus // H/T: Executive Traveler via Paddle Your Own Kanoo
It is exciting! Now if only Etihad would do the same!
WILL UNITED PICK SOME UP TO HANDLE THE GROUNDED PMUA 777S WHILE THE PMCO 777S WITH QUALITY ENGINES CHOSEN BY GORDON BETHUNE CONTINUE TO FLY SAFELY
The grounding of the A350s is also reviving their use of 777-200s, even the ones without Qsuites.
I cant understand why they have such long term plans for these planes.. “wont be back until 2026″… eg LH etc.
Who is to say travel isnt gangbusters late 2022?
Is that true? Business Traveller’s article was published 14 months ago and Simple Flying says the carrier had taken an impairment on all of those aircraft.
Hi Matthew – I’m the author of the original story at ExecutiveTraveller.com (https://www.executivetraveller.com/news/qatar-brings-a380-fleet-out-of-retirement), which was an exclusive based on a 1:1 interview with Qatar Airways’ CEO. You’ve accidentally linked to a story by BusinessTraveller.com (not connected with us at all) in your first par, but the quote from Akbar Al Baker came was from my interview and article. I’d appreciate if you could link directly back to my original story both here and in the ‘h/t’ at the end of the article.
Happy to do so. Thanks David.
ecstatic to hear! really hope they fly this on the London or Paris route so I can fly them. I’m just not ready to say goodbye to the A380
His Excellency loves putting on a show and probably did some arm twisting (or was that salt rubbing?) to get a good deal with running them and on the A350s while they sit.
I hope they start flying to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) one day when they come back!
Absolutely delighted to hear Qatar’s A380s are returning to the skies!
Our first ever flight with Qatar Airways’ was on their fantastic A380, in business class, from Paris to Doha and onward to Bali. From start to finish it was a truly amazing & unforgettable experience! The bar on their A380 is stunning – probably the best bar on an A380, a great place to chill out at 35,000ft.