Etihad Says Airbus A380 is No Longer Commercially Sustainable
Over the past 12 months, the A380 aircraft has continued to be grounded or retired from airline fleets. The last time Etihad flew the type was in March 2020, and since then, the plane’s future has been bleak. Speaking on the future of the aircraft at the World Aviation Festival, Etihad CEO Tony Douglas affirmed that the A380s have been grounded indefinitely and are no longer considered commercially sustainable.
Only a few airlines had the A380 in their fleet, and Etihad operated 10 of the superjumbos since 2014. However, it seems like the airline has parted ways with the aircraft for good.
As it stands, one of Etihad’s A380s is currently in long-term storage in Teruel, and the carrier has taken the type off its fleet list on its website. Tony Douglas’s remarks at the World Aviation Festival confirmed that it is highly unlikely for the A380 to fly for Etihad again.
The CEO said,
“Sadly for us, as the pandemic came into play … we made the decision to park our 10 A380s, which are a wonderful product, something I really enjoyed. Nonetheless, they are no longer commercially sustainable. So we have taken the difficult decision to park those machines up indefinitely.”Etihad is now focused on making a transformation to the 787, and as CEO Tony Douglas explained,
“We’re now into midsize but commercially sustainable and obsessive with customer service. It’s the boutique end that is where we want to operate. In so doing, the statement we’ve made clear is that the backbone of our fleet, for the medium term, is the 787.”Etihad currently operates 40 Dreamliners, which makes it one of the largest fleets of the type. Douglas was full of positive remarks about the aircraft, pointing out that it was not just an efficient aircraft, but it fits into Etihad’s efforts towards sustainability goals.