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Coronavirus crisis

Only few flight hours for Emirates’ Airbus A380

The gulf airline has put 13 superjumbos back into operation. But Emirates is far from being able to fully utilise those active A380, as an analysis of flight hours shows.

Tis Meyer/Planepics.org

Emirates Airbus A380

There are currently only 18 Airbus A380 in active passenger service around the world. 13 of these are part of Emirates’ fleet. But these superjumbos are used very little, as an analysis shows.

Consulting firm IBA compared the average daily usage time of each active Emirates A380 before and after the Coronavirus pandemic broke out. The result: On January 1st, for example, each active aircraft was in service for 12.3 hours per day on average. On July 31, it was just 2.2 hours.

Only one mission in seven days

Over the whole month of July, each of Emirates’ A380 flew only 14 hours in total, on average. This monthly figure is only slightly higher than previous daily figures. Until the end of February this year, the total monthly usage had always been around 350 hours.

Meanwhile, the airline’s Boeing 777 reach significantly higher hours. The twin-engine aircraft are smaller and therefore better suited for flying during the low-demand Coronavirus crisis. The airline’s triple-seven aircraft are equipped with 364 to 442 seats, the superjumbos have between 489 and 615 seats.

Occasionally just one flight per aircraft

In August, Emirates’ A380 service numbers are expected to climb. Nevertheless, the superjumbos are still spending almost all of their time on the ground, as data from flight tracking service Flightradar24 shows. In terms of number of operating days, the least used active A380 over the past seven days was A6-EVH – it only flew from Dubai to Toronto and back on August 24.

The busiest A380 during this period was A6-EVF. It took off on August 22, 24, 27 and 28, and flew from Dubai to Guangzhou once, to London twice and to Cairo once.

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