Emirates Retiring Its First Airbus A380

Goodbye A6-EDB (Oct 27, '08 - Oct 27, '20)

Emirates Airlines, as we know it today, is one of the largest, world-leading airlines, with first-class service, they have over the years in operation made themselves a staple among customer and in the aviation industry as a whole, being a customer themselves of a very particular kind of aircraft.

The Airbus A380 is one of the most ambitious plans ever made possible within the aviation and is known to many an engineering marvel. As to some it may seem overwhelming having a quad-engine powered double-decker, Emirates on the other than took a likin to the aircraft is today the largest operator of the type, but, the A380 came with challenges, and challenges it has faced as well. As the industry moves forward, away from regulations and times where you cannot fly twin-engine aircraft over the oceans, away from tri-jets and quad-engine configurations that cost more maintenance and fuel, to today’s more modern, and lightweight twin-engine competitors.

As the aviation industry pushes forward to the modern world, Emirates has thereby, on October 27th, 2020, officially retired its first Airbus A380-800, being the 2nd to ever have joined the Emirates fleet back in October of 2008, and the 13th ever manufactured by Airbus. Its marks, on the day, exact, 12 years, since the A380, registered A6-EDB, first came into service with Emirates, only to 12 years later, be retired, and be the first one to do so. And as for its final flight from Dubai to Tarbes, the aircraft was painted in complete white, with the callsign, EK2698.


Airbus A380 Retiring Around The World!

Emirates isn’t the first airline to retire the Airbus A380. Over the past decade, only being in service for a short time, both Singapore Airlines and Air France were rather, unusually quickly to retire their first few A380’s as it didn’t serve in any economical way for the airlines to keep the Super Jumbo, and a few years following, Lufthansa made clear they too will be retiring theirs after having them grounded due to the Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) Pandemic, although AF and SQ had already taken farewell, long before the Pandemic came about, signalling the end of a short-lived era for the Airbus A380.


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Pain We are really gonna miss the A380 in the future :(

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Recent News Says; Singapore Airlines, Next Up, Retiring 7 More A380’s!

With Pandemic hitting hard on the aviation industry, one can say, the time we are going through now will eventually shape the way we fly, and what we fly in the future, of modern aviation of twin-engine jets, and what more the future may hold.

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Interestingly this retirement wasn’t even COVID related. The A380 has its most costly heavy inspection after 12 years and Emirates choose rather to invest into new planes for its huge A380 fleet.

Ryanair does something similar with their B737s.

Still very sad to see this one retire without someone using it as a second-hand plane.

If you can get English subtitles for it or understand German I would highly recommend this video below:

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Luckily I do, sort of, but I’ll figure it out, now worries, thanks for the link.

On the other hand, I did actually hear about this news a week ago, and not once did I find Covid to be related to this specific case, although, EK retiring its first A380 will be one of many, and may lead the way for Covid related ones to be retired as the Pandemic hits many parts of the world, not to mention, Europe and US alone, on this second wave, as EK along with other airlines struggle to find fill seats to destinations to Europe and North America.

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Sadly you are absolutely correct. Singapore Airlines which you mentioned and Air France retiring their A380s, Etihad storing a 6-year old one, Lufthansa their entire fleet, it doesn’t look good. And I also agree that Emirates will soon have Covid related retirements with the second wave more than underway in Europe as you also know.

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EK’s usage of the Hub and Spoke Model will face trouble itself eventually as well, and Covid or not, A380’s economics can hit major airlines too, no mater how well they might be doing economically, looking at SQ, AF, LH, etc…, it’s a matter of time till EK faces the difficulty of their own, having the A380s in the fleet, considering how important economics really means to any company, industry, business, even though it may not be as urgent for EK to throw away their A380’s, as others’. EK will try to manage and operate the type for as long as possible, and beyond their A350 and 777X orders being received, but going into the 2030s, and maybe not too far into the next decade, we may see EK slowly phasing out larger numbers of the A380, maybe due to Covid, maybe due to simply moving forward, as time changes.

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I flew this on JFK to Dubai. It was beautiful, hopefully they keep all of the rest 🤧

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I personally am still a huge fan of hub-and-spoke, but I do definitely understand your points. The A380 has to have certain conditions to be profitable and these will be though to achieve, even after Covid, as you very correctly said.

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