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South Korean Asiana Airline Flew Empty A380 Without Destination to Keep Pilots Licensed

Image: Asiana Airlines

Image: Asiana Airlines

In order to keep the trainee pilots licensed during the coronavirus pandemic, Asiana Airlines flew its empty Airbus A380 fly over South Korea for more than 20 times with no destination at all.

The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a temporary ban of international flights, with only a few designated airlines allowed to fly in special circumstances. Just like all other international airlines, South Korea’s Asiana Airlines also had its flights grounded in these times. However, in order to keep the trainee pilots licensed during the coronavirus pandemic, the airlines decided to do something unexpected.

Asiana Airlines Inc. let its empty Airbus SE A380 fly over South Korea for more than 20 times with no destination at all. The world’s biggest commercial plane flew for a few hours a day for three days in May, with nowhere to go and no passengers in attendance. This was done in order to let the trainee pilots of the 495-seat superjumbo do not go out of practice.

“Takeoffs and landings of this plane cost a lot of money, and it’s money that needs to be used wisely, especially these days. Asiana is in a bind because it also can’t afford for its pilots to lose their licenses,” said Um Kyung-a, an analyst at Shinyoung Securities Co. in Seoul, reported Bloomberg.

The South Korean airline couldn’t afford time for another 135 pilots to fly the six A380s it has. Eventually, the airline company and South Korea’s transport ministry together decided to extend the flying licence of trainee pilots under special exemption. A similar decision was taken for Japan’s All Nippon Airways.