ABU DHABI, UAE — Etihad Airways is preparing to return its first Airbus A380 to service since the grounding after the global pandemic. The airline aims to reintroduce its superjumbo during the upcoming peak summer season.

Storage and maintenance company Tarmac Aerosave has confirmed that it has completed maintenance work on the A380 at its facility in Teruel, Spain, before sending it back to Etihad Airways.

After international travel restrictions and border closures caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Gulf carrier grounded its entire fleet of 10 Airbus A380s in April 2021. However, the airline has now decided to reintroduce some of the A380s back into service, as there has been a significant increase in demand for global air travel since all restrictions were lifted.

Etihad has deemed it financially viable to restore four of the jets to service. The airline initially plans to deploy the superjumbos on its Abu Dhabi-London Heathrow route.

Last year in December, Tarmac Aerosave completed the redelivery of the first Airbus A380 from storage for Lufthansa. Like Etihad Airways, Lufthansa has also decided to reintroduce the aircraft back into its fleet to meet the increasing demand this summer.