British Airways A380s in 2023: Routes, Fleet & Retirement Plans

With Air France having retired the Airbus A380, British Airways and Lufthansa are the two remaining operators of the type in Europe. The latter, however, only plans on bringing a handful of its Superjumbos out of storage. That leaves British Airways your best bet when it comes to flying the A380 on a European airline.

Continue reading to find out what routes British Airways uses the A380 on, as well as how many A380s the airline operates and what seat configuration they are in.

British Airways A380 Routes

Unsurprisingly, all British Airways A380s are based at London Heathrow airport.

From there, with the exception of Dubai and Johannesburg, they operate on popular routes to the United States. In total, they are expected to regularly serve nine different destinations in 2023 – some year-round, some during the winter schedule, and some during the summer schedule.

British Airways Airbus A380 Routes
Routes the British Airways A380 will be seen on regularly in 2023. (Map generated using Great Circle Mapper)

Routes on which the British Airways A380 can be seen year-round in 2023 include:

  • Dallas (BA193/BA192, daily)
  • Dubai (BA109/BA108, daily until Feb 20; BA107/BA106, Tue/Thu/Sun from Mar 26)
  • Johannesburg (BA57/BA56 and BA55/BA54, 2x daily)
  • Miami (BA207/BA206, daily)
  • San Francisco (BA287/BA286, daily)
  • Washington D.C. (BA217/BA216, daily)

In addition to the routes above, British Airways will also operate the A380 on flights BA269/BA268 to and from Los Angeles daily until March 25, 2023. While the flights will switch to Boeing 777 after that, the A380 might return to Los Angeles again during the 2023 winter schedule.

During the 2023 summer schedule, the aircraft will also be deployed on flights from London Heathrow to:

  • Boston (BA213/BA212, daily from Mar 26)
  • Chicago (BA297/BA296, daily from May 9)

Between the end of last year and the beginning of 2023, the British Airways A380 could also be seen on flights from London Heathrow to Doha due to the 2022 FIFA World Cup having been held in the Qatari capital.

In the 2024 summer schedule, the British Airways A380 is so far loaded for the following destinations: Dallas, Johannesburg, Miami, San Francisco, Washington D.C., and Boston. It is expected to operate the same rotations on those routes as it is operating in 2023.

British Airways A380 Fleet

British Airways operates a total of 12 Airbus A380-800 aircraft, which were delivered to the airline between 2013 and 2016.

Like several other operators of the Superjumbo, British Airways grounded its A380 fleet in March 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic brought travel to a halt. That said, it gradually brought the entire fleet out of storage between November 2021 and April 2022.

As of the time of writing this article, the below British Airways A380 airframes are active:

  • G-XLEA (MSN 95, delivered in 2013)
  • G-XLEB (MSN 121, delivered in 2013)
  • G-XLEC (MSN 124, delivered in 2013)
  • G-XLED (MSN 144, delivered in 2014)
  • G-XLEE (MSN 148, delivered in 2014)
  • G-XLEF (MSN 151, delivered in 2014)
  • G-XLEG (MSN 161, delivered in 2014)
  • G-XLEH (MSN 163, delivered in 2014)
  • G-XLEI (MSN 173, delivered in 2015)
  • G-XLEJ (MSN 192, delivered in 2015)
  • G-XLEK (MSN 194, delivered in 2016)
  • G-XLEL (MSN 215, delivered in 2016)
British Airways Airbus A380
British Airways Airbus A380.

British Airways A380 Seat Configuration

All British Airways A380s are equipped with 469 seats in a four-class configuration. Economy class and business class are split across the two decks while first class can be found on the main deck and premium economy class on the upper deck.

The main deck is equipped with a total of 257 seats including:

  • 14 in first class (1-2-1 layout)
  • 44 in business class (2-4-2 layout)
  • 199 in economy class (3-4-3 layout)

The upper deck is equipped with a total of 212 seats including:

  • 53 in business class (2-3-2 layout)
  • 55 in premium economy class (2-3-2 layout)
  • 104 in economy class (2-4-2 layout)

First class seats on British Airways’ A380s are “open” – i.e. they do not feature doors. Like on some other British Airways aircraft, the business class seats alternate between forward- and backward-facing.

Lastly, it is worth noting that like on other airlines’ A380s, the economy class configuration is more comfortable on the upper deck where there are only eight seats per row compared to the main deck’s ten. There is also an extra storage compartment between the window seats and the wall of the aircraft on the upper deck.

British Airways A380 Retirement Plans

COVID-19 grounded several A380 fleets including the British Airways one and airlines like Air France retired the Superjumbo completely. While that put the future of British Airways A380s in question too, luckily, as mentioned earlier, they have all been put back into service by now. 

In October 2020, while the fleet was grounded, British Airways told North Wales Live that “the A380 is still a valued part of our fleet and there are currently no plans to retire them.” The fact that the A380 still has a place in British Airways’ fleet was also confirmed by The Independent in its March 2021 interview with the airline’s CEO, Sean Doyle. He is quoted saying that the A380 “is in our plans for the future rebuild of the airline.”

With no known retirement plans for the British Airways A380, the aircraft are likely to remain in the skies for at least another decade.


While pre-COVID-19, Lufthansa was the largest operator of the A380 in Europe, the pandemic changed that. With 12 airframes in service, British Airways owns the top spot now. In fact, considering that Air France retired the Superjumbos and Lufthansa will only bring a couple back into service, British Airways will most likely keep the top spot until it retires the A380s.

British Airways A380s are equipped with 469 seats in four classes and primarily operate flights from the airline’s hub at London Heathrow airport to major US airports like Dallas and San Francisco. That said, they also fly to Dubai and Johannesburg.

The good news is that with no announced retirement plans, for the time being, British Airways’ Airbus A380 will remain a fairly easy aircraft to fly on.

First published on 2023/01/02. Last updated on 2023/09/19 to include information about 2024 summer schedule plans for the aircraft.

11 thoughts on “British Airways A380s in 2023: Routes, Fleet & Retirement Plans”

  1. Hello and Happy New Year,
    My lovely wife and I are trying to do a bucket list accomplishment.
    Fly the A380 to LHR and back. Spend ten days in London. We are looking to go Business Class.
    We are in the Baltimore MD area but are willing to fly to Boston or Miami or Chicago. We could drive to IAD. Please advise on our options as we are retired with no commitments.
    J. Paul Laszlo

    1. Dulles is best option for you on price you may find it much cheaper, although the route tends to be more business traffic, it also tends to be much better value than the Miami or New York routes post pandemic.

  2. Thought I should fly an A380 before they are gone so flying LHR-ORD-LHR In June/July. I was a real fan of the B747 from its inception and mourn its passing. So the bar is set high for the a380. Sadly the Cabin layout lacks the uniqueness of the 747 and I really miss the semi forward views from 1A. I have been told that the A380 shares the quietness of 747 and obviously the smoother flying and landing that a larger air frame deliver. Will be interesting.

    1. The cool thing about the a380 is the 3 cameras you will have access to in the headrest , what the captain sees , the view directly below you and the view from the top of the tail fin. And of course out your window too.

  3. We booked to go to Dallas DFW End of March/April with the return flight being on BAs A380…was so much looking forward to it. Got an email yesterday to say flight is cancelled have put you on AA instead…..totally dissapointed. Flights were booked weeks ago.. Typically the daily flight went yesterday and is scheduled for tomorrow! Have to fill claim form in also for seat refunds too

  4. My wife and are are flying back from Miami to LHR on 19th April 2024. I am going to book the flights soon but am dismayed to see that BS are saying the aircraft is a B777 not the A380 as is currently used on this route. Have always wanted to fly the 380 so am very disappointed. Hopefully this might just be a misprint on their website

    1. Dear Andrew,
      If you cannot fly the Airbus A380 you could order a plane model of Airbus A380!
      Just search it up on Amazon or in a Darons plane shop, it can make you always to remember Airbus A380 is here with us to fly to citys around the world. Follow what I did order a plane model of Airbus A380. Thank you for reading this message im Sven from Ottawa, the capital of Canada.

  5. Good luck getting a flight on a British A-380. 4 flights to and from Dulles and Heathrow, booked on A-380’s, all were switched to 777’s the day before departure. Causing major pains.

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