Will Etihad Airbus A380s Make A Comeback?

Whereas I’d love for this to be true, I nonetheless don’t assume it’s doubtless…

Etihad A380s rumored to be returning to service

At the beginning of the pandemic, Etihad Airways grounded its 10 Airbus A380s. The airline made it fairly clear from early on that the planes doubtless wouldn’t reenter service. That’s not simply due to the impression of the pandemic, however moderately Etihad was already attempting to radically alter its marketing strategy pre-pandemic, and shrink into extra of a boutique and sustainable airline.

Nonetheless Etihad’s administration has left the door open for the potential for an A380 return, with former CEO Tony Douglas being on the document as stating that we must always “by no means say by no means.”

Whereas I can’t personally vouch for the accuracy of this, Twitter person @MZulqarnainBut1 claims that Etihad has simply as soon as once more began crew coaching for the Airbus A380, and that it will likely be again subsequent yr, with dates to be confirmed quickly.

I see different websites reporting this with pretty restricted skepticism, which to me is stunning. In August 2022, the identical Twitter person reported that Etihad is planning on bringing again a minimum of three Airbus A380s, with the intent of flying them to London, Paris, and Sydney. He claimed that extra particulars could be launched by the airline within the coming weeks.

Previous to that, in December 2021, the identical particular person claimed that six Etihad A380s could be returning to service “quickly.”

In equity, I’m not attempting to doubt that this particular person heard this info, as airways do continuously change their plans, particularly throughout these unusual occasions. Nevertheless, we’ve now heard the identical rumor from the identical particular person a number of months aside every time, which naturally makes me skeptical.

I’m passing this on each as a result of I feel it’s price being skeptical of those claims basically, and in addition as a result of I feel it’s an attention-grabbing subject to debate, because it includes certainly one of my favourite planes. If this had been to occur, it could after all mark the return of Etihad’s unimaginable A380 First Class Residences, in addition to The Residence, a 3 room suite with butler service.

Etihad Airbus A380 Residence

My tackle Etihad A380 rumors

I might after all love for this to be true, since Etihad’s Airbus A380 first-class is certainly one of my favourite makes use of of American AAdvantage miles (admittedly that’s not paying the payments for Etihad).

That being stated, I stay extremely skeptical, and if I had been a betting man, I’d say this gained’t occur:

  • Sure, journey demand has recovered properly, and if Etihad had been nonetheless below the management of former CEO James Hogan, the airline would have 100% introduced again Airbus A380s
  • Etihad’s most up-to-date administration workforce has taken a way more conservative strategy, and the airline has managed to shrink into profitability; Etihad now has a brand new CEO, who additionally doesn’t appear to be an enormous fan of the A380
  • The economics of bringing again a small subfleet of Airbus A380s merely doesn’t make sense, since there are additionally economies of scale concerned right here, which you don’t get when bringing again just some planes
  • Etihad has now began taking supply of its Airbus A350-1000s, that are seen because the provider’s flagship plane
  • Etihad will naturally develop within the coming years, because the airline nonetheless has 15 A350s on order, plus 32 Boeing 787s (and people deliveries have lastly resumed)
  • I do assume Etihad has gotten a giant halo impact from having A380s, given the good onboard product, although once more, I don’t purchase that this optimistic advertising and marketing essentially helps the airline make a lot cash
Etihad Airbus A380 First Class Condo

Admittedly we have now seen some nice A380 information in 2022. Specifically, Qatar Airways introduced again Airbus A380s, although the airline was initially going to retire them. Nevertheless, that was due to the provider’s points with A350s, so the airline wanted the capability.

Equally, Lufthansa can also be bringing again its Airbus A380s subsequent summer time. That’s as a result of the airline has seen a quicker than anticipated restoration in demand, mixed with the continued delay of the Boeing 777X.

Lufthansa is bringing again Airbus A380s in 2023

Backside line

It’s being reported that Etihad has as soon as once more began crew coaching for the Airbus A380. This follows rumors a couple of months again in regards to the airline bringing again a minimum of three A380s, and flying them to London, Paris, and Sydney. And that additionally follows rumors from late 2021, about Etihad bringing again the A380.

Whereas I’d like to be flawed, I might guess that this gained’t occur. Etihad is in a significantly better place financially, and that’s as a result of provider specializing in chopping prices and shrinking. I’ve a tough time seeing how bringing again a small subfleet of Airbus A380s could be appropriate with this technique.

I feel it’s even much less doubtless with the provider simply getting a brand new CEO. He doesn’t wish to rock the boat an excessive amount of — he could possibly be criticized if he brings again the A380 and it doesn’t work out, whereas he’d get much less criticism if he simply didn’t deliver again the airplane to start with.

What do you make of this Etihad rumor? Do you assume Etihad will deliver again the A380?

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