The first unit of the world’s largest passenger plane was completely dismantled this week. The A380 serial number 003, first produced in series and put into service in 2007, had its parts removed by TARMAC Aerosave at Tabes Lourdes airport in France.
TARMAC, a company specializing in storing and dismantling aircraft, has completed its work started in January and will now do the same with a second A380. Both belong to Dr. Peters, a German leasing company that had leased them to Singapore Airlines, the world’s first airline to use the four-engine jet.
Following the termination of the lease, Singapore returned four A380s to Dr. Peters, who could not find any interest in leasing them again. Last year, the company decided to dismantle them and resell their components in good condition, which will be the responsibility of the American company VAS Aeroservices.
The A380’s disassembly should take advantage of 92% of the parts, leaving only its huge fuselage, which can be seen on a large mobile stand. It can be noted, however, that some parts were kept in the jet such as flaps and doors while other moving parts were removed by TARMAC. Belonging to Airbus, the company also began to provide space to store the A380 at its facilities in Spain, in the city of Teruel.
Launched in the past decade, the A380 has had 240 units built so far, nearly half of them operating at Emirates Airline. Earlier this year, Airbus decided to shut down production in 2021 after delivering the last units ordered.
Despite its uncommon passenger capacity and attraction at the airports where it operates, the A380 has been overcome by operational difficulties, high costs and the emergence of smaller, more efficient jets like the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350. His career, however, is expected to last for several years despite the dismantling of the first two planes.