The balance of years of incredulity regarding the operational viability of the A380 is that 15 of the 251 aircraft delivered ended up being scrapped. Therefore, 94% of the massive two-deck planes are still ‘alive’, 204 of them active or provisionally parked.
According to a compilation made on Planespotters data, just over half of the A380s manufactured are currently flying, two thirds of them on Emirates Airline, as expected.
Since Airbus announced the end of production and the Covid-19 pandemic made its operation impossible, the A380 seemed close to the end, but the resumption of demand for long-haul flights has buried these theories, at least for most of the original customers of the aircraft.
Officially, only Air France and China Southern Airlines gave up on the A380, not counting the Portuguese Hi-Fly, which operated a second-hand aircraft for a short period.
Malaysia Airlines has just withdrawn the last of its six A380s while Thai Airways, after considering a possible return, has confirmed that it does not intend to reactivate the aircraft.
It is not yet clear whether the momentum of long-haul air travel will be lasting enough to keep the A380 in demand, but the most likely scenario is that the future of the largest passenger plane in the world is one of a gradual exit from the scene, which may last until the next decade.
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