Flightline: 16/TBA

Illustration for article titled Flightline: 16/TBA
Photo: Dylan Phelps

Southern California Logistics (George AFB), 7/23/20.

Qantas announced this week that they would be mothballing their entire fleet of Airbus A380s until mid-2023 at least, as the airline industry continues to be hit hard by the Coronapocalypse. The airline expects to carry whatever international travel they do have on their smaller A330s and Boeing 787s.

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Airbus began studies to develop a wide-body airliner to challenge the Boeing 747 in 1988, and the A3XX, later the A380, was rolled out in 2005. Unlike the 747s ‘hump’, the A380 features a full upper deck, with a capacity of up to 853 passengers. The aircraft has, depending on the configuration, a range of up to 8,000 nmi and a cruising speed of Mach 0.85.

Emirates Airlines, the largest user of the type, canceled an order for 39 A380s last year, and have begun their retirement of the aircraft, though it was expected to remain in service with the airline until 2035. Air France also retired its fleet of 10 A380s earlier this year as a result of the downturn in flying as a result of the Coronavirus.

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