A380s Scrapped: How Many Superjumbo’s Have Been Retired So Far?

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The Airbus A380 is an awe-inspiring aircraft. However, as a type, the giant of the skies never really took off. It had just 251 firm orders on the books when Airbus announced, in February 2019, that it would end its production.

Airbus A380, Retirement, Scrapped
The current situation has unfortunately led to a speedy retirement for some Airbus A380s. Photo: AviationTag

Airlines are beginning to retire aircraft that have barely turned ten years old, far younger than expected of a plane like this. The current situation affecting the aviation industry isn’t doing the type any favors. But exactly how many A380s have been scrapped, and how many more have been retired?

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Simple Flying decided to dig into the numbers so that you don’t have to. For this article, we will focus on A380s retired from airline service, and not the test aircraft that Airbus itself has retired.

Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines became the very first carrier to retire the Airbus A380. In total, five of its 24 Airbus A380 aircraft have so far left the fleet. These are the aircraft registered 9V-SKA through 9V-SKE. At least two of these aircraft have been scrapped by TARMAC Aerosave in Tarbes. Indeed, Simple Flying previously reported how you can own a part of these aircraft.

Airbus A380, Retirement, Scrapped
TARMAC Aerosave has already begun scrapping the first A380s. Photo: TARMAC Aerosave

One of these aircraft did escape the finality of the retirement faced by other A380s phased out of service. Although the market for second-hand A380s is practically non-existent, Portuguese wet lease charter company Hi Fly saw a niche market for a single Airbus A380.

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9V-SKC became 9H-MIP. While the aircraft has stood in for Norwegian and rescued stranded Thomas Cook passengers, it is currently being used for cargo purposes, moving light shipments such as boxes of face masks.

Hi Fly, Cargo, Airbus A380
Hi Fly’s Airbus A380 is currently configured to carry cargo. Photo: Hi Fly

Air France

The airline that has retired the most Airbus A380s is Air France. It came as no surprise that the whole fleet was retired almost as soon as the pandemic began to bite.

The original plan had been to retire all ten A380s over the next couple of years, with the first having left the fleet late last year. However, when the airline decided that it would not need the aircraft again before their planned retirement, their fate was set. This was similar to what was seen with British Airways’ Boeing 747s.

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Air France, Airbus A380, Retired
Earlier this year, Air France retired its entire A380 fleet. Photo: Getty Images

Lufthansa

The fate of the Lufthansa Airbus A380 is more fluid than perhaps that of other aircraft. The airline had 14 of the giant double-decker. Seven have been retired so far, with eight more moved to a Spanish aircraft graveyard. Six, therefore, remain in Frankfurt.

However, the airline’s entire A380 fleet was recently dealt a blow as Lufthansa said the type would only return if demand returned faster than expected. At the present moment, this seems highly unlikely.

Lufthansa, Airbus A380, Retired
While not all retired, Lufthansa’s A380s are unlikely to fly again. Photo: Getty Images

Emirates

In June, Simple Flying reported that Emirates was preparing its first Airbus A380 for retirement. The aircraft, A6-EDB, has been with the UAE carrier since October 2008. It was recently spotted at Dubai World Central wearing an all-white livery.

The airline is expected to operate the A380 as a type for some time yet. It makes up around half of the airline’s fleet, and Emirates is still expecting eight more deliveries.

Which A380 are you saddest to see leave the skies? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!

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