For an Airbus and moreover A380 geek like myself, the superjumbo is and remains my favourite aircraft to fly. I purposely go out of my way to book an airline offering the A380 over another aircraft type due to the space, comfort and experience. If B747 was the queen, A380 was certainly the princess. On Valentine’s Day Emirates and Airbus decided to kill my aviation love affair with the airliner by announcing that it would cease production of the aircraft from 2021.
Emirates has scaled back its order of the aircraft, instead option for additional 30 A350s and 40 A330neos as part of a 70 aircraft deal. The airline expressed their disappointment at the change of heart but remained committed to the A380 stating that the aircraft would be a pillar of their fleet well in the 2030s.
Debuting in 2005, the A380 was meant to be a competitive rival to B747 but the landscape changed quickly due to improvements in two engine aircraft like the A350. The aircraft despite being popular with the travelling public sadly wasn’t so popular within the aviation industry.
Airbus will produce 17 more of the planes including 14 for Emirates and three for Japan’s ANA.
Despite being saddened by this development (I feel compelled to make that Airbus factory visit in Toulouse I’ve bene holding off happen much sooner than expected), I’m heartened that Emirates will continue to fly this aircraft well into the 2030s and as such I’ll continue to fly Emirates based on this very aircraft!
How do you feel about the A380 cancellation? Are you feeling this is the last gasp in terms of excitement when it comes to flying?
Qatar has a habit of annoying me lately. One moment it’s complete genius, the next aviation’s class clown. Admittedly a lot of it comes down to its CEO Al Baker and his often weird trails of thought. The man only in December was making noise around wanting to pull out of Oneworld, a partnership that has given the airline more coverage than it could imagine alone. Now in another blow to Airbus the man has decided that Qatar will start retiring their A380s once they hit the 10 year mark.
Qatar Airways has a total of 10 Airbus A380s in their fleet which they use on legs to Bangkok, Frankfurt, Guangzhou, Perth, London, Melbourne, Paris and Sydney.
Having one of the youngest A380 fleets globally (they took delivery of the A380s between 2014 and 2018), a retirement of the A380 isn’t imminent with the first aircraft to be retired in 2024.
The airline plans to replace the A380 fleet with the 777X. They currently have 60 of them on order. A move to the 777 will certainly see the end of their First Class as well as potentially their onboard bar, both of which are currently offered on the A380.
There’s the potential for this to change but again, a watch and see. I’m hoping there will be a change of heart at Qatar and that the superjumbo will have more years of flying to come under Qatar.
Are you disappointed by Qatar’s A380 retirement plans? Will you continue to fly them post their A380 switch?
Etihad Airways really is starting to become a shadow of its former, glamorous self. The airline when it took to the skies was full of promise and was in fact ground breaking at one point. Lately Etihad announcements are something I dread as they have been the last two years about news of removing or cancelling product and/or aircraft. Today’s disappointing announcement from Etihad is the removal of one of their popular A380 services to Sydney, which will be replaced by a Boeing 777-300ER on an ongoing basis from July 2019.
Previously Etihad announced that flight EY451 and the EY450 return leg would revert from the current short-term Boeing 777 and back to to its flagship Airbus A380 in May.. Ssdly Etihad has had a rethink of this and decided to keep the change permanently.
The downgrade in aircraft means those set to fly the A380 will need to review their booking, especially those in business as the B777 possesses the last generation business class seat as well as lacks the pizzazz of a onboard bar area. Those in first will also be affected with the 777s first suites no match for the spaciousness of the A380s. Moreover those seeking a shower best wait til they land because the inflight shower is not on the B777 aircraft.
Coincidentally the announcement and date of it removal aligns with Etihad’s launch of the A380 between Abu Dhabi and Seoul.
Personally if you are flying a premium class I would make the switch. B777s are a horrid aircraft; noisy, lacking space and generally disappointing.
Will you be switching aircraft if your booking has landed on the new B777 aircraft? Kene to hear your thoughts.
Fancy a double status promotion?! I certainly do and it looks like the first of the big Australian airlines has taken fire in the first round of DSC promos for 2019. Today Virgin cheekily released a teaser on their social page with the statement “In two days, we’re going to help you soar twice as fast. Watch this space (and your inbox!)”.
Whilst the offer is not yet active, what is known about the upcoming double status promotion is that if you register and book between 1 February to 12 February 2019, you will receive double Velocity status credits when you travel on any Virgin Australia marketed and operated flight before 28 December 2019
These promotions are a great way for those who are always falling shy of the next tier to get over the line. It’s anticipated that Qantas will soon be releasing the first of their double status credit promotions in February/ March but it looks like Virgin has beaten them to the punch. Well played Virgin, well played!
Will you be taking advantage of the Velocity DSC promotion? Keen to hear your thoughts.
Qantas for the last couple of years has moved slowly away from the business market and focused its energies on the recreation side of things. First it was the launch of direct flights to Bali (which was predominantly left to their Jetstar arm prior) and now Qantas has decided they want a piece of the island action in Fiji! That’s right folks, Qantas will be flying direct Sydney – Nadi from 31 March 2019.
Flying four times weekly, the flight will be serviced by a Boeing 737. QF101 will depart Sydney at 10.30am every Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, to arrive in Nadi at 4.30pm. The QF102 return leg departs Nadi at 5.35pm the same day for an 8pm Sydney arrival.
The news doesn’t mean that Qantas will shy from its codeshare with Fiji Airways flight to Nadi, particularity now that Fiji Airways is a member of the Oneworld Connect scheme.
Will you be taking a leisurely island holiday to Fiji now that Qantas is in the game? Keen to hear your thoughts.