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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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As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

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You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

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

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

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

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

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There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

Until 30th March 2023, the sign up bonus on American Express Business Platinum is increased to 120,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. The bonus on American Express Business Gold is increased to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. T&C apply, see the application forms for details.

American Express Business Platinum

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American Express Business Gold

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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.

  • JDB says:

    More good news for Rolls Royce

  • Howard says:

    Hi Rob, do you know which rotation to Dubai the A380 is due to be scheduled on?


  • John T says:

    Strong rumours Sth Africa will come off red list this thursday

  • BuildBackBetter says:

    Devaluation, here we come!

    • Richie says:

      Currency or share price?

    • Babyg says:

      BBB eh? #wrongthread?

    • CarpalTravel says:

      If they do then BA and Amex will be utterly dead to me. You cannot move goalposts like that without a huge amount of warning, and even then…..

      We make conscious choices about what to spend our money on and where we spend it, Avios are not a zero cost to us. Be quite nice to me and my wallet to just run with the Virgin Credit card. Currently my household has 4 Amex cards, subs alone there are well over £1k…

  • Zed says:

    Any news on Etihad’s fleet of A380?

    • Richie says:

      Any news on Etihad’s overall financial position?

    • Andrew says:

      Permenantly grounded

    • Dominic says:

      Having just flown Etihad to and from Abu Dhabi, the A380 has no use right now.

      I believe every person in economy got three seats both ways, and they still had spare rows.

  • Adam says:

    Exciting news indeed. Lots of maybes and buts…. First time to UAE (fly to Dubai) for Abu Dhabi F1 in December, booked on BA105 on the 7th…all 11 toes crossed.
    Worth another thanks to this very website that kick-started the planning for Bonvoy redemption stay in W Abu Dhabi for the F1 – thanks Rob

  • Andrew says:

    Will this be the first time that BA have put DXB on A380?

    • Andrew says:

      And maybe they can open the BA lounge there when they do!

    • Voldemort says:

      I thought they did.. for a short period when DXB was down to one runway and they had to dump off some of the daily flights a few years back. But can’t see any info about it online. So maybe it never happened!

      • DeB20 says:

        Yes, they used the A380 to Dubai when flights were limited in 2019 for runway repairs out there. A few weeks only.

  • George K says:

    The SH routes will be a great taster for those who missed out pre-Covid on the A380. For those who’ve done it before I suspect this won’t be of much interest, unless the upper desk and First open up.

    Semi-OT: Where does BA fly the A350 these days?

    • Andrew says:

      My DXB in November just got switched to 350, which is very welcomed.

      • Babyg says:

        On dec-6 my ba105 is a350, my return on dec-13 ba106 is still 777, i feel with both pairs of LHR-DXB covered i will hopefully get an a380 on one of these flights…

    • Richie says:

      The BA A350 aircraft registrations start at G-XWBA, the next is G-XWBB etc. put the registration into flightradar24 and recent flights should show up.

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

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