BEIJING, CHINAChina Southern Airlines reportedly to retire its A380s by the end of the year. The company is the only airline among Chinese carriers operating Airbus A380s.

Before the pandemic, the aircraft were used to serve on international routes to Europe, Japan, Australia, and United States from Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou.

During the pandemic, the superjumbo's excess capacity and high operating costs became a problem for the operators of the type around the world. Like others, The Chinese carrier was forced to halt its A380 operations.

China Southern took delivery of its first A380 in 2011 and used the aircraft on domestic routes for nearly a year before flying to Los Angeles in 2012, its first international route.

During the first months of the pandemic, China Southern used its A380s for repatriation flights with high demand.

Malaysia Airlines and Thai Airways are other carriers in the Asia-Pacific region, which retired their A380 fleets. Singapore Airlines, another A380 operator in the region, is still using the aircraft on international routes, but has also cut its fleet size amid the pandemic.