It’s been about 14 years and one month since the Airbus A380 entered service with Singapore Airlines. At the time, almost a decade and a half ago, there was only excitement and optimism about the new levels of comfort and economics that this aircraft would provide. Sadly, this positivity would fade over the years with the release and adoption of more efficient twinjets, leading to the early retirement and scrapping of many A380 superjumbos.
Seven Airbus A380s have been scrapped
Out of a total of 254 Airbus A380s, seven superjumbos have been dismantled and scrapped. Let’s take a look at these six aircraft and their histories.
MSN 003: This aircraft had its first flight in May 2006 and was initially registered as 9V-SKA to fly with Singapore Airlines. Data from Planespotters.net indicates that the quadjet was withdrawn from use in June 2017 and stored in Tarbes, France. In December of 2017, the aircraft was returned to its owner, the Dr. Peters Group and re-registered as 2-DRPA. Then, two years later, with no airlines willing to buy the jet, MSN 003 was scrapped in November of 2019.
MSN 005: The jet’s first flight was in July of 2006 and was also delivered to Singapore Airlines. First registered as 9V-SKB, the A380 would serve with the Southeast Asian carrier until withdrawn from use in 2017. From February 2018 it was stored at Tarbes. Also owned by the Dr. Peters Group, the aircraft had a glimmer of hope for another operator. Planespotters.net data indicates that the jet was to go to wet lease operator Hi Fly. Unfortunately, it was never taken up.
MSN 010: This jet first flew in December 2007 and was registered as 9V-SKE. Flown by Singapore Airlines, it was withdrawn from use in April of 2018 and sent back to its owner, the Dr. Peters Group later that year. The jet was broken up in May of 2021 at Tarbes.
MSN 021: First registered as 9V-SKH, the jet had its first flight on the 10th of December, 2008. Unlike earlier aircraft mentioned, this particular jet was a victim of the global health crisis and was sent to storage in March of 2020. After more than a year on the ground, it was broken up in October of 2021.
MSN 019: Alongside its sister 9V-SKH, this airframe, 9V-SKG, is also being scrapped in Singapore. It took its first flight in November 2008, just before its sister, and was delivered in June 2009. It too has been stored since March 2020, and is currently parked next to MSN 021 to be parted out.
MSN 040: Unlike the aircraft mentioned previously, this aircraft was operated by Air France and not Singapore Airlines. The jet’s first flight was in 2009 and was registered with Air France as F-HPJB. This jet was actually not a victim of the global health crisis, as its operator had previously decided to retire it in December 2019. After being stored in Dresden (Germany) for about two months in 2020, it was then sent to Knock (Ireland) for storage. The aircraft would eventually be broken up in February of 2021.
MSN 011: Finally, our seventh and final A380 listed as scrapped is the aircraft registered as A6-EDA. If you know your registration codes you’ll know that the aircraft was operated by the Middle Eastern carrier Emirates. A victim of the pandemic, the jet was sent to storage in March of 2020 and spent time between Dubai World Central airport and Dubai International. It was eventually broken up at Dubai World Central this month (November 2021)- the first A380 to be dismantled in the United Arab Emirates.
A list that will keep growing
Sadly, as airlines shift towards more economical and more efficient twinjets, we are sure to see this list grow over the years. Thankfully, we can be fairly certain that Emirates will operate the aircraft for at least 10 more years, as the airline’s President has given “mid-2030s” as an estimated retirement period.
Do you know if you’ve flown on any of the above-mentioned jets? Share your experiences by leaving a comment.