Qatar Airways has announced that it will retire its fleet of Airbus A380 superjumbos once deliveries of more fuel-efficient aircraft, such as the A350, commence.
CEO Akbar al-Baker said in a press conference at the Paris Air Show that the A380s were unexpectedly pressed back into service in November 2021 as a stop-gap measure to help deal with increasing demand when nearly half of Qatar Airways’ Airbus A350 fleet was grounded due to allegations of fuselage degradation. The A380s had initially been earmarked for retirement as the pandemic took hold.
It turned out to be an unexpected comeback for a jet whose outspoken CEO Akbar Al Baker once described his purchase of the Superjumbos as “the biggest mistake” in the airline’s history.
One of the main reasons is that Qatar Airways wants to retire the A380 as soon as possible, because of its remarkable dedication to sustainability and the need to reduce its carbon footprint. With the airline’s forward-thinking strategy, CEO Al Baker has openly emphasized the significance of moving away from quad-engined aircraft, citing their higher fuel consumption and emissions as compared to modern, more eco-friendly alternatives.
Qatar Airways is currently operating eight out of its ten A380s, with no intentions to restart the remaining two. The only thing holding the carrier back right now is the airline industry’s overall supply chain constraints.
Except for the ex-Cathay Pacific aircraft, the A380 is also the only mainline aircraft in the fleet of Qatar Airways that has an onboard bar and a real First Class cabin. Naturally, Qatar Airways has stated that an international First Class has no future and will be phased out along with the A380, exactly as it has done with the A380.