If you need a sign that airline traffic is returning to normal – or at least that the airlines hope that it is returning to normal – here it is.
According to internal scheduling documents which we have seen, British Airways is bringing five of its 12 A380 aircraft back into service from next month.
The first flights will be to the glamorous long-haul destinations of, erm, Frankfurt and Madrid.
(EDIT, Wednesday 6th: British Airways has now made its official announcement about the A380 restart which you can read here. Dallas Fort Worth is not mentioned and the release only talks about four aircraft.)
This information below is, of course, subject to change but it is the current British Airways operating plan.
Short haul routes start on 8th November
Before it can resume long haul flying, British Airways needs to get its A380 cabin crew back in the air and up to speed.
In order to do this, the A380 is scheduled to operate, from 8th November:
- a morning rotation to Frankfurt
- an afternoon rotation to Madrid
These are not currently in the British Airways timetable. If you wanted to try one for the experience, remember that you will not get the new Club Suite. All of the A380 aircraft still feature the older Club World business class seat.
Unfortunately, it is unlikely that British Airways will open the Upper Deck to bookings due to the short European turn around times. The First Class cabin is also likely to be closed.
But if it does open it is worth sitting up top, where you really notice the difference over a standard aircraft because of how high you are from the ground and the additional storage next to the windows. Our British Airways A380 seat guide is here.
Long haul routes start on 3rd December
This is still TBC, but the current British Airways plan is:
- Miami to launch 3rd December
- Dubai to launch 5th December
- Dallas Fort Worth to launch 7th December
- Los Angeles to launch 9th December
DFW may be delayed as the necessary facilities to handle a BA A380 are not yet in place.
We will let you know when these flights are showing as A380 services online.
The aircraft swaps may lead to additional Avios availability due to the large number of additional seats compared to the aircraft they will replace. There may even be a glut of First Class availability given that the A380 fleet have 14 F seats. Of course, some people may be disappointed to see an A380 on their route if it means swapping out an A350 or a Club Suite-equipped Boeing 777.
PS. Qatar Airways has also confirmed to us that the A380 will be returning to Heathrow soon. With 13 A350 aircraft out of service due to a quality dispute with Airbus, the airline is bringing five of its 10 A380 planes back from November.