End of an era as Airbus delivers last A380 super jumbo
The last Airbus A380 ever made has been delivered to Emirates, marking the end of an era for the superjumbo.
Emirates received its 123rd A380 in Hamburg on Thursday. It is the 251st A380 delivered by Airbus.
The story of the A380 is closely linked to Emirates and of course Flintshire.
The A380 has been flying since 2005 when Airbus finally overtook Boeing and its 747 in having built the world’s largest passenger jet.
The plane maker announced in February 2019 it was to stop building the A380 after the biggest customer, Dubai-based Emirates Airline, cut its order by 39 planes.
Airbus said it had “no basis to sustain production, despite all our sales efforts with other airlines in recent years.”
Emirates was the first airline to announce an order for the A380 at the 2000 Farnborough Air Show when the aircraft was still marketed as the A3XX.
Emirates’ commitment was crucial to the launch of the programme that brought together leading European aerospace players and its global supply chain to develop and bring to market the world’s largest commercial aircraft with a full double deck and generous cabin interior space.
Major structural sections of the A380 were built in France, Germany, Spain, the wings were built here in Flintshire.
Airbus opened its £350m A380 wing plant at Broughton in 2003 at the time the facility was regarded as the largest factory to be built in the UK for years.
The final wing set left Airbus Broughton in February 2020.
Each wing – weighing 6.5 tons and costing around £24m – was transported from the Broughton factory on the custom-built Afon Dyfrdwy Barge.
The last set wing was escorted along the River Dee by Flint RNLI Lifeboat to Mostyn Docks for onward transportation to Bordeaux in France.
Since it first took to the sky, the A380 has continued to capture imaginations, generate excitement wherever it operates, and attract traveller preference for its quiet, spacious and comfortable interiors.
Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline said: “The A380 is a truly special aircraft in so many ways. ”
“For Emirates, it gave us the opportunity to redefine the travel experience, efficiently 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.”
“The aircraft we are receiving today features our latest cabin products including Premium Economy.”
“Compare it to our very first A380 delivered back in 2008 and you’ll see the myriad of enhancements and upgrades invested in ensuring that the Emirates A380 experience is unparalleled.”
Say hello to the newest member of the family! Our 123rd A380, the final to be delivered by @Airbus, is on the way to its new home in Dubai. https://t.co/nF1D9pbozx pic.twitter.com/aSUzY17kah
— Emirates Airline (@emirates) December 16, 2021
“We’d like to thank Airbus and all of our programme partners for enabling us to push the envelope to introduce many innovative ‘industry firsts’, and importantly, deliver the best product for Emirates’ customers.”
Guillaume Faury, Airbus CEO said 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.”
“On behalf of all Airbus teams, I would like to use this delivery milestone to warmly thank Emirates Airline – the biggest A380 operator in the world – for their unwavering trust and partnership. Here’s to many more happy landings!” Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com