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Emirates may put A380 fleet back in the air sooner than expected  


Demand for Emirates, the world’s biggest long-haul carrier, has all but dried up on its key routes. The Dubai-based airline is the largest customer of the A380, whose sheer size has made it particularly unviable. The cost of storing and maintaining the fleet contributed to a $3.8 billion loss in the six months through September.

“What we have to face and continue to face is the carrying cost of the A380 fleet, which is very expensive for us,” mr Clark said.

The carrier said earlier this month it has used some of the idled superjumbos for cargo, while a handful of others are flying passengers, but most of the 115-strong fleet remains grounded.

Mr Clark has previously said the development of a vaccine would be key to the A380’s return to wide use. Emirates will receive three of the jumbos by the end of the year, at least one of which will have a premium economy cabin, the executive said. That will leave five more to be delivered later.

The introduction of vaccines will still require airlines and governments to set rules about whether proof of an inoculation will be needed to fly, and Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said his airline would make it a “necessity”.

It’s still “early days” to take a position on that, Mr Clark said. “It is likely the countries themselves will decide on requirements.”


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