On December 16th Airbus delivered its last ever A380 (MSN 272), to its largest A380 customer: Dubai-based carrier Emirates. 251 A380’s have been delivered between 2007 and 2021, with the aircraft flying across the globe and gracing the skies of numerous countries. However with the largest operator being the airline that has arguably done the most with the aircraft both in the interior and the exterior, it was arguably expected that the airline would be the last airline to take delivery of the super-jumbo.
Last A380 leaves Hamburg
The aircraft, MSN 272, left Hamburg (XFW) at 16:41 CET for Dubai. The aircraft will fly with 14 first classes, 76 business classes, 56 newly configured premium economy seats and 338 economy class seats, The aircraft is expected to enter service as soon as possible in an attempt to increase capacity of the highly sought-after premium economy. The occasion marked a sombre day for both Emirates and Airbus with Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury stating:
“The A380 has touched the lives of so many passengers by setting new standards in terms of flying and travel experience. I’m confident that it will continue to do so for decades to come with Emirates, which has continuously introduced new services and products allowing passengers around the world to experience the unique features of their A380s.”
“On behalf of all Airbus teams, I would like to use this delivery milestone to warmly thank Emirates Airline – the biggest A380 operator in the world – for their unwavering trust and partnership. Here’s to many more happy landings!”Guillaume Faury, CEO Airbus
Emirates President, Sir Tim Clark, a long time advocate for the aircraft, also spoke on the last delivery.
“The A380 is a truly special aircraft in so many ways. For Emirates, it gave us the opportunity to redefine the travel experience, efficiently serve demand at slot-constrained airports, and bolster our network growth. The A380 will remain Emirates’ flagship product for the coming years, and a vital pillar of our network plans.
“The aircraft we are receiving today features our latest cabin products including Premium Economy. Compare it to our very first A380 delivered back in 2008 and you’ll see the myriad of enhancements and upgrades invested in ensuring that the Emirates A380 experience is unparalleled. We’d like to thank Airbus and all of our programme partners for enabling us to push the envelope to introduce many innovative ‘industry firsts’, and importantly, deliver the best product for Emirates’ customers.”Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline
The aircraft, registered A6-EVS left Hamburg on Thursday for Dubai, and after completing a low pass over Airbus’ production facility in Hamburg made its way to its new home at Dubai International Airport (DXB), marking the end of an era.
With the production of the A380 drawing to a close, Emirates has reaffirmed its commitment to operate the aircraft well into the 2030’s. However, with some airlines already parking fleets, the A380 is starting to become a rarity in our skies. Many have flown the Emirates A380, with the aircraft connecting families across the globe, and proving to be the aircraft of choice for business travellers. What are your thoughts on Emirates commitment to operate the aircraft into the 2030’s? Let us know in the comments!