According to several sources, Emirates plans to retire 40% of its Airbus A380 fleet.
Emirates is rumored to be permanently retiring 40% of its A380 fleet, or around 46 aircraft. The decision is expected to be formally announced within a few days.
Since COVID-19 caused air travel to plummet, the world’s largest operator of the A380 has grounded its entire fleet of 115 Airbus A380s. Just two weeks ago, Emirates’ President, Sir Tim Clark, declared “The A380 is over” in an interview.
This decision is reasonable as air travel demand will likely not return for several years so the immense capacity coming from the A380 won’t be needed.
On top of the potential retirement of some A380s, Emirates is supposedly in talks with Airbus to cancel orders for five remaining A380s. Emirates currently has 8 on order but will take 3 of these 8.
Assuming Emirates takes delivery of its aircraft on time, they’ll have a few Boeing 777Xs and potentially some A350s and 787-9s by the time demand fully recovers.
Unfortunately, this decision was honestly imminent following Emirates’ President’s statement that “the A380 is over”. Going forward, Emirates’ future will likely rely on lower capacity aircraft instead of the superjumbo. If this decision goes through, this could spark a movement with other airlines to retire some of their A380 fleets early as well. Qantas, Qatar Airways, Air France, and a few others have already hinted at early retirement.