Etihad Airways A380s Almost Back Flying

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One of the last airlines to return the Airbus A380 to service is that of Abu-Dhabi-based Etihad Airways.

Etihad Airways are completing their final checks to return the world’s largest passenger plane to regular passenger flying this month.

Four A380s will return to flying at Etihad Airways as part of their planned boost in capacity. However, there was a significant period of doubt regarding the plans for the aircraft. This is especially highlighted with so many airlines parking up widebodies, including the A380 during the pandemic.

In recent months preparations to get these A380s, which have been stored since 2020, ready for service have warmed up. Etihad Groups’ team has initiated crucial maintenance checks. This six-year heavy maintenance check was required on the first A380 returning to service and has been completed.

For most airlines, storing aircraft is a means to make changes to the fleet or adapt to current circumstances. During the pandemic, airlines mass grounded fleets, and unclear when they’d return or if there were risks around such a method.

Airlines needed to ensure their planes wouldn’t be damaged or deteriorate and be stored in perfect conditions, so if the aircraft did fly again, it would be after checks to ensure the plane was in working order.

The Airbus A380 is expected to fly one route, similar to ANA, with London Heathrow getting the nonstop service from July 25th. This is an important route for the company, and the additional capacity the eventual four A380s will bring is set to be invaluable. However, the routing could be subject to change.

Daniel Fowkes
19 Jul 2023
· Aircraft 
· Airlines 

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