The world’s largest fleet of Airbus A380 superjumbos could return to service by Emirates by early 2022.

The disclosure came as the Dubai-based carrier forecast a sharp recovery in demand for air travel next year.

Progress on the production and transportation of Covid-19 vaccines should be evident by the second quarter of next year, president Tim Clark told Bloomberg TV.

That would trigger a release in pent-up demand “across all segments” led by those unable to travel during the pandemic, he said.

“I can see demand for travel moving at pace. My own view, and it’s always an optimistic view, is by end of next calendar year or the first quarter of 2022 we’ll have all our A380s flying.

“What we have to face and continue to face is the carrying cost of the A380 fleet, which is very expensive for us.”

The airline reported a doubling of UK bookings to Dubai after last week confirming the deployment of more A380s from Heathrow and Manchester to its Dubai hub from November 27.

Clark has previously said the development of a vaccine would be key to the A380’s return to wider use.