Etihad Airbus A380 jet in flight. Photo: TradeArabia.

LONDON – Etihad Airways’ (EY) entire fleet of Airbus A380 aircraft has taken to the skies within the last month without any passengers on board.

The airline’s fleet of 10 Airbus A380s has not operated a passenger flight since March 24, when the airline was forced to halt operations due to a government flight ban.

The Airbus A380 has become a rare sight in the skies as of late. However, the fact that EY has not been flying passengers has not meant the fleet was entirely grounded worldwide.

Photo caption: (Left to right) H.E. Mohamed Mubarak Fadhel Al Mazrouei, Chairman of Etihad Aviation Group; H.H. Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Department of Transport; and Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group; inspect the specially-designed Etihad Airways “Year of Zayed” A380 at Etihad Engineering in Abu Dhabi. Picture by Etihad Airways.

A380 Fleet Flights


Indeed, we have seen many storage, maintenance, and training flights with the type since then. Now, with the completion of a 40-minute flight yesterday, the whole A380 fleet has been flown within the last month.

The entire fleet flew for only 18 hours in the past month. The data shows that since the United Arab Emirates flight ban began, the type only flew for around five hours combined.

A6-APH has had the most love out of the entire fleet, clocking up 1 hour and 14 minutes of flight time across two flights. Meanwhile, the remaining aircraft have each only flown once, mainly in Q3.

Airbus A380. Photo: Etihad Airways.

Etihad A380 Flights Without pçPassengers


Etihad has been flying its A380 with passengers onboard for over three months now. The airline has two options concerning its fleet.

It could either put in long storage its entire A380 fleet as Qantas (QF), or it can keep in short storage, so it is reasonably easy to reactivate when needed.

A380 paint shop. Photo: Etihad Airways.


Will We Soon See The A380 in Flight?


It’s impossible to say yes or no with certainty. However, it looks as though the fleet is safe for the time being. There was a worry earlier in the crisis that EY would scrap the A380.

The airline did, however, assure us that it was committed to operating the giant once more. The fact that EY is yet to send the A380 into long-term storage is a good sign.