September 22, 2020

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Paris To Become The Latest A380 Hub Thanks To China Southern

3 min read

Paris is set to become one of just four airports with two active Airbus A380 operators as China Southern looks to upgrade its route. The Chinese Airbus A380 operator will fly the giant of the skies to the French capital from Guangzhou seven times between August and October.

Paris, Airbus A380, China Southern
The Airbus A380’s return to service is slowly gathering pace. Photo: Dubai Airports

Half a year ago, The Airbus A380 was the workhorse of the world’s highest capacity routes. However, as demand for travel dropped, tied with government travel bans, the aircraft became almost obsolete, with only China Southern operating it at one point. Now, as demand slowly but surely picks up, other airlines are starting to reactivate the giant of the skies too.

Very few Airbus A380 hubs

In pre-pandemic times, an Airbus A380 hub would be regularly visited by operators of the type from all over the world. Take Heathrow, for example; the airport previously welcomed A380s from British Airways, Emirates, Etihad, Korean Air, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar, Singapore Airlines, and Thai Airways.

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Today, London welcomes just two Airbus A380 operators: China Southern and Emirates. Emirates has now begun a double daily service to London. On Saturday, the Middle East airline also began flying the A380 to Guangzhou daily.

As Guangzhou is China Southern’s A380 base, the Chinese city has now become another post-COVID A380 hub. Both China Southern and Emirates are also flying the Airbus A380 to Amsterdam.

Getty China Southern Airplane takeoff
China Southern will operate several one-off flights to Paris. Photo: Getty Images

Paris to become the fourth hub

Now, it seems as though Paris is destined to become the fourth Airbus A380 hub. According to Routesonline, China Southern will operate seven special A380 services to the French capital. One aircraft, B-6137, has already flown to Paris on August 4th. According to the publication, the remaining flights will take place on:

  • August 11th
  • August 25th
  • September 1st
  • September 22nd
  • October 6th
  • October 13th

Like both London and Guangzhou, Paris’ two A380 operators will be Emirates and China Southern. Alongside London, Paris was the first destination to be resumed by Emirates, when it brought the giant of the skies back into service. However, one Airbus A380 operator will be noticeably absent in Paris. Earlier this year, the French flag carrier, Air France, announced that it would retire the entire A380 fleet two years ahead of schedule.

Air France, Airbus A380, Retired
Earlier this year, Air France retired its entire A380 fleet. Photo: Getty Images

So, where are the Airbus A380s currently flying?

The world’s Airbus A380 network is currently minimal, given the lower demand experienced across the aviation industry. We’ve identified the current Airbus A380 hotspots around the world, but where else is the aircraft flying?

According to data from FlightRadar24.com, all five of China Southern’s A380s are operational. From Guangzhou, they are flying to:

  • Amsterdam
  • London
  • Los Angeles
  • Paris
  • Seoul
  • Sydney
  • Vancouver

Meanwhile, Emirates, the largest Airbus A380 operator, is flying to six destinations from its Dubai hub. These are:

  • Amsterdam
  • Cairo
  • Guangzhou
  • London
  • Paris
  • Toronto

Have you been able to fly on an Airbus A380 since they began returning to the skies? Let us know your experience in the comments!

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