Airbus completed the assembly of the last fuselage of the A380, its largest passenger plane. The aircraft, MSN 272, will be delivered to Emirates Airline and left station 40, a hangar used to assemble the large components of the jet. The information was revealed by the Aviation Toulouse page, which follows the movement of aircraft from the largest Airbus plant in France.
The fact occurs just 15 years after the first flight of the A380, the largest passenger plane ever built. Until August, nine units had to be delivered, eight to Emirates and only one to All Nippon Airways, which had been ready for months.
The commercial aviation crisis, however, may cause the completion of these deliveries to take longer than expected. The UAE airline, for example, would be trying to cancel the remaining order for planes.
The completion of the number 272 plane also ends work on unit 40 for now. Airbus even announced that a new assembly line for the A321neo would be deployed in Toulouse but postponed plans after the coronavirus pandemic.
— Aviation Toulouse (@Frenchpainter) September 23, 2020
Introduced in October 2007, the A380 became a huge “white elephant” for several of its operators years later. The Airbus aircraft was already without attracting orders for some years even with the manufacturer announcing an improved version, the A380neo. Shortly thereafter, the end of production was confirmed.
However, the advent of the virus and the drop in demand on long-haul flights has hit airlines that use the jet hard. Air France, for example, has withdrawn all of its planes from service and other companies are storing much of the fleet if not all units until the market recovers.