RIP: Emirates Retires First Airbus A380

RIP: Emirates Retires First Airbus A380

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The slow and sad death of the A380 continues. Just a few weeks ago assembly was finished of the world’s last A380, and this week Emirates’ first A380 left Dubai to be scrapped.

Emirates retires first Airbus A380

Emirates is by far the world’s largest operator of the Airbus A380. The airline has 114 A380s, with a further eight of the super jumbos on order.

Back in June it was first revealed that Emirates was in the process of retiring an Airbus A380 for the first time. More specifically, A6-EDB had been spotted in Dubai with an all white paint scheme, which was the first step towards it leaving Emirates’ fleet.

A6-EDB, Emirates’ first A380 to be retired

The plane had been parked in Dubai for the past several months. On October 21 it operated a 1hr40min test flight, and then on October 27 the plane was flown from Dubai to Tarbes-Lourdes-Pyrénées Airport in France. The flight time was seven hours, and this is where the plane will be scrapped. It’s sad to think that the plane’s life started just 120 kilometers away, in Toulouse.

Flight path of the final A380 flight, per Flightradar24

This particular A380 was the second A380 that Emirates ever took delivery of, and it joined the company’s fleet in October 2008, meaning that it’s 12 years old. This was the 13th A380 ever built (with previous ones being Airbus test frames, and the remainder being built for both Singapore Airlines and Emirates Airline).

For further context:

Singapore Airlines became the first airline to retire an A380

Is this A380 retirement due to coronavirus?

In past months there had been rumors that Emirates may retire 40% of its A380 fleet, given how the landscape has changed due to coronavirus. This particular A380’s retirement is unrelated to coronavirus, and isn’t unexpected.

Emirates plans to keep many of its A380s for about 12 years, as much of Emirates’ fleet was leased for that long. This particular A380 has just hit the 12 year mark, which is when it was supposed to be retired. The only real impact of coronavirus here is that the plane was parked over the summer, a few months ahead of the initial expected retirement.

Emirates was supposed to retire its first A380 this year all along

When will Emirates retire all Airbus A380s?

Emirates is expected to take delivery of its last A380s in 2021. Like I said, the plane has been assembled already, but Emirates hasn’t taken delivery of it yet.

Emirates’ plan — at least pre-pandemic — was to fly these A380s for up to 15 years, which would mean that Emirates will operate A380s through the mid-2030s. Only time will tell if that timeline is going to change due to the current pandemic, which is causing a lot of airlines to make fleet adjustments.

Emirates A380s are expected to fly until the mid-2030s

Bottom line

Emirates is retiring its first A380, as the plane turns 12 years old. This retirement has very little to do with the current pandemic, as the plane was due to be retired anyway. This plane got an all white paint scheme back in June, and then this week was flown to France to be scrapped.

It still remains to be seen whether Emirates will materially adjust its A380 retirement plans as a result of the pandemic…

Conversations (38)
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  1. Rowland Ewenike Guest

    I flew from London to Doha in December 2021 with Qatar Airways A380. Its still an amazing experience.

  2. James New Member

    2011 - A340

    2021 - A380

    I'm starting to see a pattern here...

  3. Quo Vadis? Diamond

    Ironic that Emirates A380's, which during their operational lives feature so much bling, end their flying days with plain Jane white liveries.

  4. SBS Member

    A380 showers, bars, SQ suites were special experiences - not just transportation to get from A to B. And as others pointed out, the ride was smooth and quiet in all cabins. I will definitely miss these flying whales.

  5. Bill Guest

    I'm sorry for your loss.

  6. Sabine New Member

    The A380 is just fantastic and hopefully EK will be flying the ones they will keep for quite some years to come. I just love the bar and that it is so quiet and spacious.
    I have been on the 777 in J from HH to DXB and had a great flight. No complaints.

    If I ever considered trying QRs QSuite, the current events have put me right off flying with them.

  7. The nice Paul Diamond

    Emirates’ A380 is a comfy J class experience; its 777 not so much.

    I wasn’t a huge fan either of the bling or the Dubai transit, but as they transition away from the A380 I’m even less likely to choose Emirates over Qatar.

  8. Ben Dover Guest

    @Jan, I'd expect 747s to be in service still as passenger planes - Korean Air and others have had new ones in the past few years which should see decades of service yet.

  9. Honegger Walter MR Guest

    I don't think that the people can be so stupid !

  10. Joey Diamond

    I always thought A380s would be great for social distancing on plane because they're so big even though it may not be economically viable. I still remember flying Emirates A380 JFK-DXB route back in spring 2009 (great recession) where the entire rear half of lower deck economy was empty. I think each of us were able to get our own row of seats.

  11. Honegger Walter MR Guest

    I will say, the difference between the Business Class from the Emirates A380 an the 777 it's to grate. B777 Seats are thin and have a pore movement, they are not comfortable for a Flight during more then 4 hours, from DXB to MLE ! I suppose the 777 was also a old Aircraft, then if i was looking the Pictures in the Internet on the Page from Emirates, they show much better.........

  12. Honegger Walter MR Guest

    the seats on the Business Class in the A380 from ZRH to DXB with Emirates, ware not more then
    15 % occupied

  13. RayFlyer New Member

    Two questions: Q1-understand some airlines have a very accelerated depreciation schedule: is that true for Emirates? Singapore? Others?
    Q2-do airlines buy or lease 1st Class seats and/or Business Class seats?

  14. Honegger Walter MR Guest

    it was very comfortable in the 380 Business Class bud not in he 777 !

  15. Nicholas Murphy Guest

    I'll miss the A-380. Leaving aside the operating economics, my flights to and from Singapore have been very comfortable.

  16. Honegger Walter MR Guest

    an in the 777 from DXB to MLE was not a realy bussiness class, maybe e little better tourist class !
    And on the Back Flight from DXB to ZHR we get also not a kind service ! I started the Dinner and after view time, they cleared away my dishes. The Champagne i missed also............

  17. Nicholas Guest

    I've taken this particular plane in J last summer and it certainly felt its age. There were loose panels in my foot well and one misbehaving ambient light panel. I'll miss the bar and the kind service, though.

  18. Honegger Walter MR Guest

    Firts: i have been in the Airbus factory, when the first A380 for Emirates, was built.
    On the December the 12th i flow back from DXB to ZRH, with this old A380 Seat 11K.
    This Aircraft was having the round stairs ! Also she was very old........

  19. Cyril Guest

    One of Emirates Airline's policy is to maintain a young fleet. In fact Emirates has the youngest fleet in the world. Meaning they do not use an aircraft for more than around 10 years. So this is their normal routine. Good job Emirates.

  20. Endre Guest

    How comes my comment “The era of four-engine aircrafts comes slowly to an end” awaits moderation? Which words did trigger your censorship filter? Did my comment hurt the feelings of a particular aircraft manufacturer? Seriously

  21. Endre Guest

    The era of four-engine aircrafts comes slowly to an end.

  22. Jan Guest

    It's kinda weird (and a little sad) to think that when the last A380 retires, there's a good chance that 747s will likely still be flying around (as freighters)

  23. Jimmy Guest

    Remaining not remaking.

  24. Jimmy Guest

    The A380 is my favourite plane. I love the look, the space, the quiet, and the amentities.

    I always loved The Queen of the Skies (747) but flying the A380 was even better.

    My nostalgic heart is with the 747 but my head was always with the A380.

    Sad but both wil be memories in the future. The remaking planes just are not special. Nice, yes, but sadly not special.

  25. Gerard Guest

    Hi
    I wonder how much would be a second hand A380 Air bus
    Tks
    Gerard

  26. Derek Hendricks Guest

    Mr. Hossain ,
    If they hold on to it for later , it will be to use it as a combi-freighter . Low-density payload is the only profitable paradigm left for the Super-Jumbo , in a post-covid world.
    D.H. ..

  27. Derek Hendricks Guest

    Mr. Hossain ,
    If they hold on to it for later , it will be to use it as a combi-freighter . Low-density payload is the only profitable paradigm left for the Super-Jumbo , in a post-covid world.
    D.H. .

  28. MOHAMMED HOSSAIN Guest

    Why A380 made it now thinking of scrapping. I think hold for next 10 years. Somebody bring up again. Future generations people will like to travel on double - decker

  29. Max Guest

    All good things come to an end.

    Of course the bar, the onboard-shower and the smooth & silent ride will be missed.

    However with even secondary airports now offering acceptable lounges with showers, A350 and 787 allowing more direct and less time-consuming point-to-point flights the future is not bad.
    And in terms of passenger comfort these to aircraft will also be one step forward in terms of cabin pressure and humidity. Bonus is of...

    All good things come to an end.

    Of course the bar, the onboard-shower and the smooth & silent ride will be missed.

    However with even secondary airports now offering acceptable lounges with showers, A350 and 787 allowing more direct and less time-consuming point-to-point flights the future is not bad.
    And in terms of passenger comfort these to aircraft will also be one step forward in terms of cabin pressure and humidity. Bonus is of course the faster boarding and de-boarding in comparison to an A380.

  30. Luke New Member

    @Sid - they normally paint retiring planes all-white to make them easier to sell on (not that this bird has a hope in heck of selling for anything other than parts and scrap metal!)

  31. Sid Guest

    What’s the purpose of painting aircraft all white when going out of service etc. it’s an extra cost since money is tight! It’s well publicized anyway why spend the money ?

  32. LuxeMoi Guest

    Very sad to see the development of retiring EK A380. Hopefully, they leave some in the fleet. They can get rid of the bar. But NOT the shower. They should introduce more of the new F cabin suites with a shower stall onboard.

  33. Kevin B Guest

    I don't think so. That HiFly A380 doesn't seem to get much use as it is.

  34. Syed zafar abbas Guest

    Definately a good news for some countries who can take first ever A380 for their flagship carriers.

  35. niko_jas Guest

    Sad but High Fly must be checking their bank account and to see if they can afford to add another 2nd hand A380 to their fleet! How's that working out for them this year?

  36. Ghostrider5408 Member

    I think we all sense that 380's are on their way out as are most of the world's less efficient aircraft it just costs too much to maintain versus load demands in the future. Sad but the virus has brought about a whole of new thinking when it comes to consumption and the environment, a good thing. I will miss the showers they were actually quite refreshing after a 15/16 hour flight especially when you were connecting on to another 5/8 hour flight.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Rowland Ewenike Guest

I flew from London to Doha in December 2021 with Qatar Airways A380. Its still an amazing experience.

0
Rohit Guest

James, 2016 - A330

0
James New Member

2011 - A340 2021 - A380 I'm starting to see a pattern here...

0
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