A year ago, it seemed as though the A380 was yesterday’s news. Fast forward to today, and the situation couldn’t be more different. A wave of carriers have brought the giant back in the last couple of months. Meanwhile, Emirates took delivery of its final A380 just yesterday.
With schedule data from aviation data experts Cirium, we take a look at which airports could come out on top for the Airbus A380 next year. Readers should note that schedule data is currently only available until November 2022. Additionally, the schedule could still see significant change between now and then.
10. Los Angeles International (LAX)
Historically, Los Angeles clocked in as the eighth most used Airbus A380 airport, with some nine carriers using the airport in the past. Moving forwards, the airport will be the second most diverse A380 hub with five different airlines planning services in 2022 (Asiana Airlines, British Airways, China Southern, Emirates, and Qantas). The five airlines have 900 services planned, with British Airways just counting for 1% of this.
9. Milan Malpensa (MXP)
Interestingly, Milan’s Malpensa Airport is clocking in at number nine as the schedule currently stands. In fact, the airport is slated to receive 955 services from January-November 2022. This is more than Los Angeles International, a former A380 hub.
All 955 of the A380 services planned for Milan are from Emirates. The airport will receive roughly two flights a day from Dubai, with one of these continuing to New York’s JFK as a fifth freedom flight that stops off at Milan on its way back to Dubai.
8. Johannesburg (JNB)
With just 22 more flights planned from January to November, Johannesburg clocks in above Milan. The airport has 997 flights scheduled, but significantly fewer are from Emirates (668). British Airways has 309 flights currently planned to Johannesburg, though it was recently forced to push back its A380 relaunch on the route.
7. Paris – Charles De Gaulle (CDG)
Like Los Angeles, Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris used to sit a lot higher on the list of Airbus A380 hubs, welcoming ten carriers to date. Unfortunately for the airport, only two have confirmed a return to the French capital city’s main airport moving forward.
Like Johannesburg, Emirates has 668 flights planned to Paris. Meanwhile, as things stand, Qatar Airways has 334 services planned, giving a total of 1,002 flights. We know that Qatar is keen to ditch the A380 as soon as possible, so this could decrease moving forwards.
6. New York’s John F Kenedy (JFK)
As previously noted, New York will welcome a daily fifth freedom flight from Emirates via Milan. However, the airport will also receive some direct Emirates services from Dubai. This means that Emirates has a total of 1,002 services planned to New York (as many as all the airlines at Charles De Gaulle combined). Additionally, Singapore Airlines will fly to New York daily as part of a fifth freedom arrangement from the start of the Summer schedule in late March.
5. Frankfurt Airport (FRA)
Singapore Airlines’ fifth freedom flight to New York takes us across the Atlantic to Frankfurt. While the airport was home to Lufthansa’s A380s, these won’t be returning to the skies. Despite this, Frankfurt maintains its number five position thanks to other carriers.
Emirates has twice-daily flights to the German aviation capital with the giant of the skies, equating to 668 flights. Meanwhile, Singapore Airlines has 497 flights to the airport. Each day from late March, the airport is scheduled to welcome a Singapore Airlines A380 from Singapore and New York. Additionally, Asiana Airlines is currently also planning to fly daily to Frankfurt from Seoul Incheon. Frankfurt should welcome 1,414 flights with all three airlines combined unless the schedule changes.
4. Sydney (SYD)
With four operators currently scheduling A380 services to Sydney, the airport clocks fourth place in our 2022 estimations. This is partly due to the return of the Qantas Airbus A380, with the Australian flag carrier planning 243 flights. Interestingly, both Emirates and Singapore Airlines have more flights scheduled than the incumbent airline, at 641 and 583, respectively. Both returned to the city with the Airbus A380 earlier this month. Finally, China Southern tops up the total to 1,498, with 31 rotations planned over 11 months.
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3. Singapore (SIN)
The top three airports for Airbus A380s haven’t changed between the past 14 years and the coming 11 months. This is partly as the most popular Airbus A380 routes pre-pandemic have primarily been the first to return moving forwards. Earlier today, Simple Flying reported that Singapore Airlines has planned a significant Airbus A380 return for Summer 2022 and is responsible for most of the city’s A380 routes.
Qantas currently has 63 flights planned to Singapore, while 278 Emirates flights are scheduled. Meanwhile, British Airways has 217 flights planned from London Heathrow, making the airport one of the more diverse with four carriers. 3,744 flights are reported as scheduled in Cirium’s data between January and November.
2. London Heathrow
London Heathrow Airport holds the all-time Airbus A380 diversity crown. 11 of the 15 airlines to have flown the giant of the skies have taken it to London’s primary airport, including Air France on its entry to service training flights.
Six airlines currently plan to take the Airbus A380 to London Heathrow in 2022. Interestingly, with six Airbus A380 flights to London Heathrow planned each day for the entire year, Emirates actually exceeds the total rotations of the British flag carrier. On the schedule so far are,
- British Airways – 1,956 rotations
- China Southern – 31 rotations
- Emirates – 2,004 rotations
- Qantas – 32 rotations
- Qatar Airways – 451 rotations
- Singapore Airlines – 583 rotations
1. Dubai International Airport (DXB)
For the same reason that Dubai International Airport has been the top Airbus A380 airport over the past 14 years, it will remain this way moving forward. The airport is home to the world’s largest A380 carrier. This means that with Emirates flights alone, the airport is handling 3.5 times more A380 flights than London Heathrow.
Emirates has 17,781 flights planned between January and November, equating to 98.8% of the airport’s A380 operations. British Airways has the other 1.2% of flights with 214 rotations planned to the ultimate A380 hub.
Were you surprised by any of the airports on the list? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!