Dubai-based carrier Emirates has confirmed that it will take delivery of its final Airbus A380 almost a year early as the airline brings forward its remaining deliveries. The last new A380 to ever be delivered by Airbus will join Emirates in November this year.
The vast majority of Airbus A380 carriers are anything but an A380 carrier right now. For example, while Etihad sees a slim chance that the jet could return to service, the airline’s CEO told Simple Flying this is unlikely. However, Emirates is doing things totally differently, with a quarter of its fleet already back in the skies serving destinations worldwide.
Retimed delivery schedule
Airbus announced the end of the A380 program in February 2019. While the manufacturer said it wouldn’t be taking any more orders, it said it would deliver its outstanding orders for the type. While a couple of the jets were bound for Japanese carrier ANA, most outstanding orders were bound for Emirates.
Now, just three of the giant aircraft remain undelivered by Airbus. All of them are due to go to Emirates and were scheduled to be delivered last year, given the impact of the pandemic. Today, Emirates revealed that this wouldn’t be the case after all. It has now decided to take each aircraft this year, with the final delivery now planned for November.
Why take new aircraft when many are in storage?
You may be asking why Emirates is rushing the delivery of its new Airbus A380 aircraft when many of its jets remain in storage in Dubai? The answer is in the cabin. Emirates is seeking to increase its Airbus A380 containing its new premium economy cabin, which debuted earlier this year. It seems taking delivery of new aircraft where the cabin will already be fitted is easier than retrofitting some of the airline’s older aircraft for the time being.
The three aircraft are all being built with the premium economy cabin installed on delivery and will be registered as follows,
- MSN 270 – A6-EVQ
- MSN 271 – A6-EVR
- MSN 272 – A6-EVS
According to data from ch-aviation.com, of the 119 Airbus A380s in Emirates’ fleet today, only 30 are currently listed as active, leaving roughly three-quarters (89) out of service for the time being. Earlier this year, the airline’s President, Tim Clark, had hoped to have the entire A380 fleet in the skies by the end of the year. While good progress is scheduled on upping the A380 network, it seems that much of the fleet may be out of use for the time being.
Stay informed: Sign up for our daily and weekly aviation news digests.
Not going anywhere soon
The good news for Airbus A380 fans is that the brand new aircraft aren’t likely to be retired soon. Emirates has pledged its commitment to operate the type until the mid-2030s several times. Today, Clark built on this, commenting,
“Emirates will continue to be the largest operator of this spacious and modern aircraft for the next two decades, and we’re committed to ensuring that the Emirates A380 experience remains a customer favourite with ongoing investments to enhance our product and services.”
Are you excited to see the last Airbus A380 delivery moved forwards? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!