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DOHAQatar Airways has confirmed it will be retiring half of its fleet of 10 Airbus A380s, which have already been grounded since March last year.



The Qatari flag carrier's CEO Akbar Al Baker told an aviation industry forum this week that the decision is motivated by concerns over environmental impact.

"The A380, I think, is one of the worst aircraft when it comes to emissions that is flying around today. This is why we have decided that we will not operate them for the foreseeable future and even when we operate them, we will only operate half of the numbers we have." Al Baker said, speaking at the CAPA Live aviation event on January 13.

The double-decker superjumbo has a capacity of 853 passengers, although a typical seating arrangement means they usually accommodate up to 525. Popular with air travelers but expensive to operate at the best of times, the four-engine plane is simply too large for current demand in the pandemic era.

Airbus announced back in 2019 that it would stop deliveries of the A380 in 2021, the European manufacturer had delivered just 234 of the craft -- less than half of the 600 it had predicted when the double-decker was introduced in 2007. The last ever superjumbo is currently undergoing its final touches at France's Toulouse-Blagnac Airport.

However, the extraordinary circumstances of the Covid-19 outbreak mean superjumbo fleets are disappearing from the skies sooner than expected.

Airlines including Lufthansa, Qantas, British Airways, and Air France all grounded their superjumbos when the pandemic hit last spring.

Qatar Airways has a fleet of 53 A350 aircraft which service more than 45 destinations in the airline's network, including Johannesburg, London, Melbourne, New York, Paris, Sao Paolo, and Singapore. The airline has launched a program enabling passengers to voluntarily offset the carbon emissions associated with their journey at the point of booking their ticket.

The airline is part of the Oneworld airline alliance, alongside carriers including American Airlines and British Airways, which has committed to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Via CNN

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