British Airways moves its Airbus A380s to Madrid


British Airways began last week the transfer of its Airbus A380 from Châteauroux to Madrid, without indicating an imminent return to service of the superjumbos nailed to the ground since last March due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chateauroux-Marcel Dassault airport should have no more A380s from the British national carrier parked on its tarmac by mid-December, after having accommodated in the spring up to eleven out of the twelve operated before the health crisis. The aircraft registered G-XLEF then G-XLEG were the first to leave (via London-Heathrow for maintenance), followed last Friday by the G-XLEI; there were only six left then, according to La Nouvelle République.

Destination of the British Airways superjumbos: Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suarez Airport, where his sister in the IAG group, Iberia is based. The British company has not officially explained the reasons for the move, but their return to service is not expected until next year.

British Airways A380s are configured to accommodate 14 passengers in First, 97 in Business class, 55 in Premium and 303 in Economy (469 seats). During the presentation of the IAG Group’s results last July, a slide concerning the fleet of the Oneworld alliance company mentioned the “temporary grounding” of only four of the twelve A380s operated before the health crisis (and up to ‘to six Boeing 777s), suggesting a possible return to service of the other eight. But that was before the second wave of the pandemic (British Airways offers around 30% of usual capacity in Q4), the new containment across the Channel – and hope created by the first vaccine results.

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