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Emirates backs Airbus A380 while Qatar Airways labels it a history

Emirates and Qatar Airways are among the top leading airlines in the aviation industry. The two airlines also have two very different opinions regarding the superjumbo. While Emirates backs and loves the A380, Qatar Airways labels it a history.


The A380 is a perfect fit for Emirates with hub and spoke model as the airline transports millions of passengers from Dubai to various parts of the globe.


Emirates is the largest operator of the A380 with 117 A380 aircraft in its fleet. The airline has so far only retired 1 A380.


With the delay in the arrival of the Boeing 777X, Emirates intends to keep the A380 flying for at least another 15 years. Before the pandemic, the A380 was responsible for 85% of the profits that Emirates was making.


Emirates is already restarting more routes on the A380 and has since recalled back some of the pilots that the airline has sent on unpaid leave.


While Emirates has 117 A380s, Qatar Airways only has 10 from a fleet which consists of 235 aircraft.


Qatar Airways has long fallen out of favor with the A380 and has reported that the airline would not be flying the A380 until at least 2022 since the start of the pandemic.


Qatar Airways CEO, Akbar Al Baker has said: “Even when we operate, we will only operate half of the numbers we have. So if you are very interested to purchase some for yourself, I will sell to you.”


Qatar Airways prefers to operate Airbus A350 to the likes of the A380 especially during the pandemic as passenger travel is less. The airline has so far gone beyond to call other operators of the A380 ‘unethical’.


Emirates president Sir Tim Clark has said that if an airline only has a handful of A380s, the costs would go through the roof but if there are a hundred of them the unit costs in operating are lower.


With a stronghold on the A380, Emirates is likely to keep the aircraft flying for a longer period while Qatar Airways would possibly retire the entire fleet early.


Qatar Airways already has large orders for several wide-body jet aircraft including the Boeing 787, Boeing 777X, and the Airbus A350. It only makes sense for the airline to retire the A380.


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