ABU DHABI, UAE —Etihad Airways has just released a formal statement regarding the return of its Airbus A380 fleet into service following the highly-welcome spike in demand for international air travel that spans the commercial aviation industry as a whole after easing COVID-19-related travel restrictions.

The carrier will first return four of its ten currently inactive Airbus A380 aircraft to service as of the summer 2023 season, which will be operated between Abu Dhabi and London Heathrow.

Like other full-service carriers across the world, Etihad Airways decided to cease operating its superjumbos in November 2020 to cope with the significant revenue losses caused by the widespread negative economic impacts and disruptions linked to the global pandemic.

"It is wonderful to announce the return of this splendid aircraft," said Mohammed Al Shorafa, chairman of the Etihad Aviation Group.

"The A380’s reintroduction provides a further boost to Etihad’s capacity into the key UK market, with a knock-on effect for the wider GCC and Indian subcontinent that will bring more visitors to the city of Abu Dhabi."

The reintroduction of A380s into operation will enable the Gulf carrier to increase flight frequencies on existing routes and add new destinations to its network, the airline said.

Although the A380 was largely withdrawn from service as the aviation industry struggled to sustain itself in the wake of widespread shutdowns and closures caused by the global health crisis, many carriers have decided to bring their dormant superjumbos back into operations after rising passenger volumes.

Australian flag carrier Qantas stated that it was preparing to return the sixth A380 to service, while British Airways has announced that the company will increase its A380 operations to and from multiple locations by the end of this year.

Lufthansa joined the forces last week. The airline flew the first superjumbo to Frankfurt from Teruel Airport in Spain, where it was stored for nearly two years. Three more will soon return to Frankfurt before commencing scheduled flights in the summer of 2023.

A new report released last week by the World Travel and Tourism Council—a global, nonprofit organization that actively promotes the tourism industry as a viable international economic factor—revealed that the demand for air travel spiked to an all-time high after the pandemic. More than two-thirds of individuals who attended the council's survey indicated they were planning to fly at least once or more sometime next year.