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Emirates Will Take Delivery of the Last Ever Airbus A380 Superjumbo on Thursday

Emirates Will Take Delivery of the Last Ever Airbus A380 Superjumbo on Thursday

Emirates will take delivery of the last ever Airbus A380 superjumbo on Thursday evening at a delivery ceremony at Airbus’ headquarters in Toulouse, France marking the end of a 14-year era for the double-deck aircraft that won over the hearts of countless passengers but failed to win enough support from airline chief executives.

By far the biggest supporter of the A380, even Emirates couldn’t be convinced to keep the project running when Airbus went searching for more orders and a final decision to end production was announced in February 2019

The Dubai-based airline will, at least, continue to operate the aircraft for years to come and Airbus says it actively support the project for its lifetime.

The A380 allowed Emirates to position itself ahead of rivals with its now-legendary onboard bar and lounge, and First Class shower. The A380 quickly became Emirates’ flagship aircraft and has become an icon of its generation.

The last six A380’s to be delivered to Emirates also came fitted with the airline’s latest product – a 56-seater Premium Economy cabin. Long rejected by the airline, the Premium Economy cabin has become an instant hit with passengers and President Sir Tim Clark now admits he should have embraced the product years ago.

Ship number MSN272 will be the last of 249 A380’s to be delivered when the keys are handed over to Emirates on Thursday.

Airbus had originally hoped to sell more than 1,000 A380’s, pitching the aircraft as capable of reducing congestion at overstretched airports. In the end, not enough airlines were convinced with the A380’s economics and instead opted for smaller and more fuel-efficient models.

With its mega-hub in Dubai, Emirates was a rare example of an airline that was able to fill the A380 to capacity and make the model turn a healthy profit. But when the pandemic hit even Emirates realised the A380 had to be grounded, instead relying on its fleet of Boeing 777’s.

Air France and Lufthansa have disposed of their A380 fleets, while Singapore Airlines has retired some of its A380’s and Qatar Airways is only “reluctantly” bringing back its superjumbos because of a capacity squeeze.

Emirates’ A380 fleet will number 118 when the final superjumbo is delivered later today. So far, the airline says it has returned less than half of its A380 fleet to active service following the pandemic.

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