A380s In The Boneyard: How Many Superjumbos Have Been Scrapped?

Advertisement:

While some Airbus A380 had already been retired before the current situation, several others have, unfortunately, had their demise speed up. Some of these aircraft have been sent to storage, while others have been scrapped. Simple Flying decided to investigate the fate of those Airbus A380s that have already been retired.

Airbus A380, Retired, Scrapped
Very few Airbus A380s have actually been scrapped. Photo: Aviationtag

The Airbus A380 was supposed to revolutionize long-haul flying. However, many airlines failed to see the appeal of the aircraft as four engines fell out of favor to the efficiency of their twin-engined cousins. Airbus took the bold decision to cut its losses and end the A380 program early last year.

How many Airbus A380s have been scrapped?

So just how many Airbus A380s have been retried? And of those, what proportion has been scrapped. Simple Flying dug into the numbers. By now, most people are aware that the first two A380s to enter commercial service have met their time.

Stay informed: Sign up for our daily aviation news digest.

9V-SKA and 9V-SKB were both delivered to Singapore Airlines in 2007 and 2008. The aircraft were both retired in 2017, and are widely known as having been scrapped. These aircraft were the third and fifth of the type to be built, and are the only flying models that have been scrapped so far according to data from Planespotters.net.

A380 scrapping
TARMAC has so far dismantled two Airbus A380s. Photo: TARMAC Aerosave

In addition to the first two commercial aircraft, Airbus has also scrapped two of its A380s. However, these aircraft never flew. One was used for static testing, and the other for fatigue testing.

Advertisement:

Airbus kept three A380s for itself, the aircraft with the line numbers 001, 002, and 004. MSN 001 is maintained by Airbus and was used in the manufacturer’s 50th-anniversary flypast. MSN 002 has been converted into a museum piece at the Aeroscopia Museum in Toulouse. Meanwhile, having been converted into the A380 Plus, 004 now resides at the Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace in Paris.

A380
Two of Airbus’ A380s have been turned into museum pieces. Photo: Getty Images

Other retired Airbus A380s

So far, none of the other retired Airbus A380s have yet been turned into keyrings. Instead, they remain in storage.

In June, we reported that Emirates had phased out its first A380 due to be retired, A6-EDB. This aircraft remains in Dubai while it awaits its fate. Meanwhile, Singapore Airlines has said goodbye to three more A380s. 9V-SKC got a second go at life when Hi Fly took it on for wet lease operations. Meanwhile, 9V-SKD and 9V-SKE are both being stored in Tarbes.

Advertisement:

Lufthansa has said goodbye to six of its 14 Airbus A380 aircraft. The airline has sent seven of the giant of the skies to Teruel in Spain, an aircraft graveyard.

Lufthansa, Airbus A380, Frankfurt
Many retired A380s are stored at two facilities maintained by TARMAC Aerosave. Photo: Getty Images

A whole fleet retired?

That leaves Air France as the only other airline to have thus far retired Airbus A380s. The airline retired its whole fleet earlier this year in response to the current crisis. One of the airline’s A380s, F-HPJB, had already been withdrawn before the current situation.

The Air France A380s are currently stored as follows:

  • F-HPJA – Paris (CDG)
  • F-HPJB – Knock (NOC)
  • F-HPJC – Tarbes (LDE)
  • F-HPJD – Paris (CDG)
  • F-HPJE – Tarbes (LDE)
  • F-HPJF – Teruel (TEV)
  • F-HPJG – Teruel (TEV)
  • F-HPJH – Tarbes (LDE)
  • F-HPJI – Tarbes (LDE)
  • F-HPJJ – Paris (CDG)

Have you flown on a since retired Airbus A380? Let us know how you found the experience in the comments!

Advertisement: