Airbus may have broken the hearts of aviation fans worldwide with the announcement that it’s ceasing production of its A380 airplane, but that doesn’t mean the superjumbo is going to stop flying any time soon.
With production planned up until 2021 and more than 200 of the huge aircraft serving schedules that, for the most part, look set to continue potentially for decades, there’s still plenty of opportunity to experience what many fliers say is the best seat in the sky.
The long-haul airplane – which features a double-decker cabin, wide-body configuration, spacious interior and a quieter inflight experience – currently connects major air hubs around the world that have been adapted to accommodate its massive airframe.
So, for those seeking to ride the A380 while it’s still in its prime, what are the best airlines and routes to try?
We’ve rounded up a selection that highlights the qualities which have so endeared the superjumbo to the flying public.
1. Singapore to Sydney – Singapore Airlines
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The A380’s first ever commercial voyage back in 2007 was from Singapore to Sydney – so this route remains forever intertwined with the airplane’s identity.
For those who want to splash out, Singapore Airlines A380s have First Class Suites complete with double beds and armchairs – its service was the first to do so.
They’ve got more in common with five-star hotel rooms than cramped aircraft interiors, especially considering how quiet it is on board an A380.
2. Dubai to Auckland – Emirates
Dubai-based carrier Emirates is one of the surest bets to grab a seat on an A380 since it owns the largest fleet of the superjumbos.
These massive aircraft are made for the long-haul, and Dubai to Auckland is the longest Airbus A380 non-stop route – charting 14,193 kilometers over the course of the 10-hour journey.
Passengers get to experience Emirates’ take on the A380’s capacity for luxury.
There’s an Onboard Lounge designed to promote “global conversation with fellow passengers.” Big spenders can book their own Private Suite for maximum privacy and there’s the A380 Shower Spa, perfect for some mid-flight rejuvenation.
3. London Heathrow to Boston – British Airways
The comfort of the A380 aircraft makes the relatively short flight between London Heathrow and Boston (roughly seven hours and 40 minutes) fly by.
In both the first class cabin and World Traveller (the economy option) British Airways’ layout prioritizes privacy and space.
“My first time on an A380 was like an out of body experience,” one British Airways frequent flier tells CNN Travel. “The size, smell, silence, comfort, colors, curves…”
British Airways website offers up a fun A380 fact on its website: If all the wiring in the A380 was laid out end to end, it would stretch all the way from Edinburgh to London, that’s 320 miles.
4. Paris to New York: Air France
Each Airbus A380 is assembled in Toulouse, in France, so traveling on the aircraft from its motherland is a must-do.
Flying to New York from Paris takes passengers from one glamorous international city to the other – surely those views over Long Island Sound are best admired from the comfort of the A380?
Still, Air France’s days with the A380 are in doubt – it has 10 in its fleet and announced back in November 2018 that this number will be cut down to five. It’s worth experiencing while you still can.
5. Honolulu to Tokyo: All Nippon Airways
While some airlines are wrapping up their Airbus routes, others are just getting them started.
From May 2019, passengers traveling on All Nippon Airways from Tokyo, Japan to Honolulu, Hawaii can enjoy an original A380 experience: the Flying Honu aircraft.
The three aircraft that’ll be operating this flight path are painted bright, colorful hues of blue, emerald green and orange – and decorated to resemble sea turtles (Honu is a term used for sea turtles in Hawaii).
“Hawaiian Sky” will go into service May 24, 2019 shortly followed by “Hawaiian Ocean” on July 1. “Hawaiian Sunset” will phased into service gradually.
When these ANA aircraft go into operation, it’ll be the first time first class has been made available on All Nippon Airways’ Honolulu route.
6. Frankfurt to Shanghai: Lufthansa
Lufthansa A380s have some cool features that set them out from the crowd and add to the level of comfort – think automatic cabin humidifiers and soundproof curtains.
If you want to test it out, flying from Frankfurt is a good shout – the airport has been well-adapted to manage the A380 experience.
Another German airport, Munich, has built special hangar doors to allow the A380 to grab some shelter while sticking its rear end out in the fresh air.
7. Dubai to Sao Paolo: Emirates
Here’s another chance to experience Emirates First Class Private Suite, on the first ever scheduled commercial A380 flight to South America.
A380s have been flying this route since 2016 when Sao Paulo International Airport was upgraded to handle the aircraft and its large number of passengers.
Alongside the 14 private suites on board, there are 76 lie-flat seats in business class and 401 seats in spacious economy.
8. Sydney to Hong Kong – Qantas
Qantas premiered its take on A380 first class back in 2008 – an experience deemed of such quality that it’s barely needed to change since.
Many frequent fliers associate Qantas with a guarantee of quality. The Aussie airline was recently crowned AirlineRatings.com world’s safest airline and came third in the Australia-based aviation safety and product rating agency top 10 airlines for 2019.
Still, Qantas also recently canceled its outstanding A380 orders.
“For Qantas, the A380 is the aircraft of the past and not its future,” said Ellis Taylor, Asia finance editor at aviation intelligence firm FlightGlobal, reported CNN Business in February 2019.
Qantas’ nine hour 15 minute journey to Hong Kong is a great one to experience, while you still can.
9. Abu Dhabi to London – Etihad Airways
On board Etihad’s A380 passengers can enjoy “The Residence” a swanky three-room suite which comes with a living room, separate bedroom and en suite shower room.
Elite fliers can also enjoy the services of a butler and Travel Concierge service.
There’s a proper double bed, two flat screen TVs and more luxury than most mortals know how to handle.