Emirates Takes Its 117th Airbus A380 As It Awaits First With Premium Economy

Emirates 117th A380 has been delivered from Airbus. The aircraft departed Airbus’ facilities at Hamburg Finkenwerder for its new home at Dubai International Airport on December 11th. This leaves just six A380s left to be delivered by Airbus before the complete end to the superjumbo program.

Emirates A380
With this recent delivery registered as A6-EVM, the next aircraft will be delivered as A6-EVN. Photo: Getty Images

With such few A380s remaining in the production line, each one seems newsworthy. However, the 118th A380 will be extra special as it marks Emirates’ first aircraft fitted out with its new premium economy cabin.

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Emirates’ 117th Airbus A380

Published via Twitter, Emirates announced on December 13th that it had taken delivery of its 117th Airbus A380. According to AIB Family Flights, this aircraft has MSN 264 and is registered as A6-EVM.

While flight data for this particular aircraft seems to be unavailable, AIB Family Flights notes that the aircraft departed Hamburg Finkenwerder on December 11th at 17:23 UTC. Having a near-identical departure time to the last A380 delivered, A6-EVL, this would have been an overnight delivery flight of about seven hours, arriving in Dubai at around 05:30 in the morning, local time.

The bigger deal: Emirates’ 118th A380

What’s more exciting about Emirates’ announcement is the additional note mentioning that it will soon receive its next A380, “its first with the long-awaited signature Premium Economy.” 

For the last few months now, we at Simple Flying have been left wondering when the first premium-economy-equipped A380 will arrive at Emirates.

According to FlightGlobal, Tim Clark spoke about the new premium economy cabin in an online interview hosted by Arabian Travel Market. While the details were kept brief, he said that the first A380 to have the new premium economy cabin installed is sitting in Toulouse ready to go. This is something we reported on in June.

Emirates Airbus A380
December 11th marked the delivery of Emirates’ newest A380 leaving just six to be delivered. Photo: Getty Images

With A6-EVL being the first aircraft delivered since the story was written, we suspected that the aircraft was ‘the one.’ However, it appears that it will be two aircraft later as A6-EVN (assuming the registrations are in alphabetical order as is quite common.)

Therefore, A6-EVN is the aircraft to watch as it will be the very first Emirates jet to feature a premium economy cabin. It looks like this aircraft is at Airbus’ facilities at Hamburg Finkenwerder and has been undergoing test flights.

On December 7th, the aircraft operated its 8th test flight, registered as F-WWAU.

A look at the 8th test flight for the first Emirates A380 with premium economy – A6-EVN. Photo: FlightRadar24.com

Just six A380s left

Emirates was to receive three A380s by the end of the year, and at least one will have a premium economy cabin. This means that A6-EVN will be the last aircraft of 2020, with the remaining five to arrive in 2021.

  • On November 30th, A6-EVR was spotted in primer for the first time with its engines installed.
  • On November 26th, A6-EVQ had its first flight and was ferried from assembly facilities in Toulouse to Hamburg.

When do you think the next A380 will arrive? Please give us your best guess in the comments!