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EXCLUSIVE: British Airways is bringing 5 x A380 aircraft back, starting with Frankfurt and Madrid

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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.)

British Airways to restart A380 services

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.

British Airways A380 returning

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.


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There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 21st February 2023, the sign-up bonus on the British Airways Premium Plus American Express card is increased to 35,000 Avios from 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

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You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

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Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (136)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Babyg says:

    OMG.. best info in ages! Im booked to go to dubai for the F1, which was swapped for a a350 without first so i was downgraded to club, i wonder if they can upgrade those automagically that were downgraded from 1st? Ill try and nab a LHR-MAD seat too.. excite!

  • LewisB says:

    I’m booked onto the A380 coming back from San Francisco Tue 29 March 2022, 10:55 (BA0284)

  • Craig says:

    Singapore, end of Feb?? Fingers crossed.

    • Sam G says:

      To be honest I’d be quite surprised if Singapore ever sees the A380 again – two of my former employers who were big buyers of J seats have completed restructuring so that UK-Singapore links are no more & if my friend/acquaintance group is a good sample then many expats have returned to the UK so their contracted business class return home privileges are no longer required.

      Singapore has tightened rules on issuing employment passes and made changes to intra-corporate transfers so that they can no longer bring family members which makes it an difficult/unattractive destination for newcomers now

      Personally I expect the 77W to remain with a smaller Club Suite cabin than originally planned or a 787-9 and Sydney to be ditched entirely

      • Craig says:

        Thanks, I meant more related to the reinstatement of international travel. Have F booked and quite frankly I don’t care what aircraft I’m on! 😉

        • Sam G says:

          oh ha. It’s going in the right direction for sure – UK just got “upgraded” to 10 days quarantine that you can do at home. However with no drinking after 10.30pm out and about, no live entertainment, outdoor mask wearing and the need for 1hrs slots for the pool/gym/breakfast at any hotel it isn’t the greatest destination for a holiday at the moment…. but hopefully once they get over their initial waves of infections due to low natural immunity they’ll open up more and more, can’t wait to get back myself either!

          • Craig says:

            Thanks Sam. Got 3 and 1 night either side of a trip to Bali, worst case they will allow transit, best case is as it stands with a few days in Singers. I can live with mask wearing and early finishes, my days of 4 floors are long behind me.

          • Polly says:

            Was hoping for nov opening as got F to Singapore too.. transit tho to one of the islands.. good news tho generally towards the U.K. have hkg f in feb so maybe better chance then…

      • Paul Pogba says:

        Are Singaporean citizens denouncing the changes as racist? I assume there have been widespread protests and legal action by human rights lawyers? :p

  • E14 says:

    Presume the Europeans will be the same as the previous proving flights

    Lower deck only door two and the F cabin closed – no way they can clean the aircraft otherwise on turn around. Assume the schedule will need to be padded to add for extra taxi time and turnaround time for the best

  • Brent Mesurier says:

    Its quite widely anticipated in industry circles that SA will soon be off the UK red list, so this makes perfect sense.

  • KBuffett says:

    Great plane

  • Ted says:

    Thanks to Robs comments and someone else’s here re cancellations. Both outbound and inbound reward flights cancelled for this month. YouFirst was most helpful. Moved dates to next July, where there was only cash tickets available. Booked on A380 both ways. Cheers guys

    • Ted says:

      should add this was for LHR-SIN

      • Dubious says:

        Congratulations on getting that moved. Only this morning I tried to get BA to move my disrupted flights (INV-LHR-SIN) but they wouldn’t move beyond 2 weeks of the travel date so pushed me into cancelling them. They were adament the Avois-sale flights were exempt from the new 365-day ticketting policy.

        • Dubious says:

          PS. 🙁

        • Memesweeper says:

          They are not exempt from the law.

          • Dubious says:

            Unfortunately when there’s only 3 hours left before check-in opens and none of the agents are wiling to do the legal thing…you feel backed into a corner.
            I shall probably draft up a complaint though.

          • Dubious says:

            And frees me up to send my money to a competitor.

        • Lady London says:

          I cannot believe that as a regular reader on here, you let BA do this.

          The correct response was to stand your ground, inform them as a courtesy you wouldn’t be on the outgoing flight if that wasn’t the one disrupted, and deal with it all later.

          I’m out if time today so can’t go through it in detail, but most of the issues get fully explained across every few days on here.

          I do feel for you but it’s such a shame.

          • Lady London says:

            As I know Meta will agree (see responses on the general daily thread today) I suggest you request a copy of the recording of your call(s) to BA immediately before they lose it or even “lose” it, then look at recent days posts to be clear on how you can recover this.

  • Richie says:

    Great news! Madrid is on my list. A350 one way, A380 the other.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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