Emirates reinstated operation on A380 to several other cities, including Amsterdam, London Gatwick, Manchester, and Los Angeles.
Although JFK airport expected to experience A380 operation in August, the Emirates Airlines has since changed the flight schedule and would now operate to its U.S. destinations with 777-300ER and -200LR aircraft. This covers the JFK to Milan (MXP) Emirates route formerly run by an A380.
As of August 2020, Emirates has served 70 destinations worldwide, comprising nearly 50% of its before the-pandemic network. Unlike other carriers, most of those have entirely withdrawn the A380, including Air France, the change is in marked contradiction. Six A380s were also sent into retirement by Lufthansa.
Qatar Airways recently announced that operating the A380 “is not financially or economically reasonable for this large aircraft to serve in the existing markets,” after mentioning that the carrier had no or maybe little intention to return the A380 to service 2020.
Although the restoration of the Airbus super-jumbo to operation from the world’s largest carrier is undeniably a promising sign for aviation, signaling a recovery of a few of the pandemic’s missing interest, the potential for the A380 still looks grim. Air France has indeed agreed to rid itself of most of its A380s, and, if ever, Lufthansa will also not start operating A380 until 2022.
The coronavirus has also significantly impaired the cabin atmosphere of the A380, which has become the catchphrase of the giant aircraft since it joined commercial service in 2007. First-class passenger showers, and the first-class and business class lounge, which was once the top distinguishing factor of the cabin service of Emirates, are reportedly halted and face an unknown future. Nevertheless, although the first class was an opportunity worth spending money mostly on Emirates A380 during pre-pandemic times, travelers usually cannot get the same over-the-top service and luxurious menus these days. In reality, on some Emirates Boeing 777s, the first-class suites are already better than in the first-class ones, mostly on A380.