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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.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (December 2022)

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.

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

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

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

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

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

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review

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.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

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.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

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.

  • Joe says:

    Any ideas when these will show up on
    I assume they will run until just before the long haul flights commence?

  • Jamie says:

    Do we know if these will run at the weekend or just in the week?

  • John says:

    This is so awesome, thanks for the exclusive!

  • Greenpen says:

    I was on one of the first Air France training flights for their A380s, between LHR and CDG. The normal passengers, who simply wanted to move from London to Paris, were completely dumbfounded by the number of airline geeks enthusiastically exploring the ‘plane.

    Enjoyed the champers (in a plastic glass) and the flight. Also got a certificate which I sold on eBay!

    • Bobby says:

      I’ve got one of these certificates, how much did you get for it 🥸

      • Mark says:

        Me too – I was on the first flight out to Paris. I am curious to wonder how much someone paid for it!

        • Greenpen says:

          I am sorry but I cannot remember. We were given one each but as I left the aeroplane there was a unguarded pile in the galley so I acquired about five more too! Test out eBay if you want to sell.

    • Alastair says:

      They ran out of both campagne and certificates on my flight, which departed an hour late and arrived even later, and the immigration queue at CDG took about an hour to clear. It was not the greatest advertisment for AF but fun nonetheless.

  • Biki says:

    Any idea which Miami flight might be swapped to an A380 yet? I was looking for reward flights for Feb and currently there is only PE for the return, so it would be good to pick the one that potentially swaps and gets more reward space.

  • Aaron C says:

    I was looking at some flights to SFO for next year and there is one daily scheduled for an A380 and the other a 787.

    • Richie says:

      The A380 was only removed from the winter timetable, not summer 22.

  • PeterK says:

    A pity that the J product to/from DFW will move away from the new Club suite (currently operates on a 787-10).

  • Simon says:

    For DXB, is this definitely an aircraft swap, and not an extra pair of flights ??

    • Rob says:

      Yes, because these are separate decisions made by different parts of the business. The A380 may negate the need for an extra daily flight.

      • Simon says:

        Shame. looks like we will stick with our PE flights. Dont think the BA holiday fare class can be upgraded to CW.

        • Rob says:

          You can upgrade BA Holidays tickets, I’m sure. The only thing you can’t do with a BA Holidays flight is earn On Business points.

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

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