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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 points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (November 2021)

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

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

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

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

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

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of 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

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard 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 card

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

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

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)

Comments (136)

  • Maik says:

    Any news regarding the LHR – FRA – LHR operations?

  • Kevin D says:

    Seem to be showing A320 jets from LHR to FRA and MAD. Have BA just not updated the booking system yet?

    • Andrew says:

      I was just looking at this earlier today – seems they aren’t ready to say for definite it’ll be A380.

  • Philipp says:

    I redeemed avios for a C ticket but it wouldn’t let me reserve a seat in the seatmap. Any advice?

    • Rob says:

      You don’t get free seat selection on BA unless you are in First or have status.

      • Philipp says:

        I’m aware. But in this case I’m willing to pay for my seat. However the seatmap only gives back an error.

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