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Once-spurned superjumbos return after a tailwind in post-Covid ...

World

Once-spurned superjumbos return after a tailwind in post-Covid travel

The Airbus A380 has had an unexpected post-Covid revival, validating major owners such as Emirates, Qantas

Angus Whitley

Written off as an over-sized anachronism when Covid-19 upended aviation, the world’s largest passenger plane is enjoying an unlikely revival to handle an overwhelming rebound in air travel.

Many airlines struggled to see a future for their enormous Airbus A380s when the pandemic grounded fleets in early 2020. Qantas Airways parked its 12 double-deckers in the Californian desert, saying they wouldn’t be needed for at least three years, while Etihad Airways said it was unclear if its 10 superjumbos would ever fly again. 

But this year’s sudden travel recovery has given the cavernous jets — often seating more than 500 people — a new lease on life. They have become the long-range jumbo of choice for airlines from the UK to the Gulf and Australia as passenger volumes stretch aviation workforces that were depleted during the crisis...

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