End of story. Production of the largest passenger plane officially ended this Thursday when the A380 registration A6-EVS took off from Hamburg towards Dubai to be delivered to Emirates Airline.
Only 170 months passed between the delivery of the first A380 to Singapore Airlines (MSN003 and registered as 9V-SKA) and the flight of the A6-EVS, a short career for an aircraft that cost billions of euros and was considered by Airbus as a game changer.
Emirates’ last two-deck jet is the 123rd received by the carrier, which accounts for 49% of the aircraft produced, by far the largest operator of the model.
The airline based in the United Arab Emirates was also the first customer of the largest Airbus aircraft, when the program was called the A3XX.
During the 2000 Farnborough Air Show, the airline announced the first Letter of Intention for the aircraft and the following year, it signed a firm order with Airbus in addition to expanding the number of aircraft.
The first A380 delivered to Emirates arrived at the airline in the second half of 2008.
In all, 14 customers operated the world’s largest passenger aircraft, but some ended up withdrawing the A380 from service such as Air France and Lufthansa.
Emirates, on the other hand, should still operate the iconic plane for many years to come. The carrier is preparing a retrofit program for 52 of its 121 jets that will equip them with a new Premium Economy cabin.
“The A380 is a truly special aircraft in so many ways. For Emirates, it gave us the opportunity to efficiently redefine the travel experience, serve demand at slot-constrained airports, and bolster our network growth. The A380 will remain Emirates’ flagship product for the coming years, and a vital pillar of our network plans,” said Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline.
“The A380 has touched the lives of so many passengers by setting new standards in terms of flying and travel experience. I’m confident that it will continue to do so for decades to come with Emirates, which has continuously introduced new services and products allowing passengers around the world to experience the unique features of their A380s,” said Guillaume Faury, Airbus CEO.