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Emirates’ iconic Airbus A380 is once again airborne after months of sitting on the tarmac.
The Emirates A380 operating as EK1 departed Dubai at 08.12 on Wednesday morning bound for London Heathrow in what is the first superjumbo service anywhere in the world in months.
Emirates will operate two round trips with the A380 today with EK73 flying from Dubai to Paris.
The giant of the skies has been grounded since the coronavirus pandemic destroyed travel demand and airlines around the world ditched capacity.
A number of airlines, including Air France, have offloaded their entire A380 fleets in an attempt to reduce costs and shed surplus capacity leading to speculation that the aircraft would not fly again after the Covid-19 pandemic.
But with 115 super jumbos in its fleet, Emirates was always bound to make use of at least a handful of A380s.
It is unsurprising that the A380 has remerged on a London route given that a huge chunk of Emirates pre-Covid capacity was on Dubai-UK services.
Emirates is still operating a virtually 777-only fleet but as demand for travel increases it will likely start to fly A380s on a larger scale. It will be difficult to operate super jumbos profitably if they cannot be completely filled.
The airline still has a couple of years to wait before it starts to receive deliveries of smaller but more efficient 787s and A350s so it looks as though the A380 is here to stay for at least the near-term, even if it is exclusively flown by Emirates.