Emirates CEO Still Expects To Operate 80-90 A380s In 2030

Emirates’ CEO Tim Clark has said that he expects the A380 to continue to fly for the Dubai-based airline until the mid-2030s. The news comes as just 14 more Airbus A380s are left to be delivered.

Emirates, Airbus A380, Fly until 2030s
Emirates will still be flying the Airbus A380 in ten years’ time. Photo: Emirates

Those flying onboard Emirates’ aircraft currently have the possibility to listen to a podcast produced by the airline’s CEO. In it, he took the time to talk about the Airbus A380 and its future within Emirates, among other things. The airline currently has 110 Airbus A380s with 13 still on order. With ANA’s last remaining A380 order, that leaves just 14 of the aircraft yet to be delivered.

Largest Airbus A380 fleet

Emirates is by far the largest user of the Airbus A380. The airline’s A380s entered into service in 2008. Currently, it flies 110 of the aircraft, however, it also has 13 more on order from the manufacturer before the Airbus A380 is closed down for good, as was announced on Valentine’s Day. The problem with the aircraft, according to Tim Clark, was that the Airbus A380 created too many emissions in terms of efficiency.


Emirates’ huge Airbus A380 fleet dwarfs the next largest fleet of the type. Singapore Airlines ordered the second largest number of Airbus A380 aircraft at 24 units.

Emirates, Airbus A380, Fly until 2030s
The carrier currently operates just two aircraft types. Photo: Emirates

Aircraft will operate to the mid-2030s

Tim Clark seems fairly confident in the Airbus A380’s future with Emirates. In fact, in his onboard entertainment podcast, he told how he expects that in ten years’ time (2029-2030), Emirates will still be operating 80-90 of the Airbus A380. Some of the older models will, of course, be retired. However, the airline is set to refurbish the ones they will retain.

This will see the carrier adding a new premium economy cabin, which has been on the cards for some time, among other things.


Other aircraft in the fleet

While Emirates currently only operates two types of aircraft, the Airbus A380 and Boeing 777, the airline is set to operate a much more diverse fleet come 2030. Emirates is currently set to receive the Boeing 777X in 2020, something which Mr. Clark is not certain will happen.

Emirates, Airbus A380, Fly until 2030s
The A380s which aren’t retired will be refurbished at some point. Photo: Emirates

Remaining on the Boeing side of things, Mr. Clark told that “we continue to look at the [Boeing] 787 as well”. However, the airline is also diversifying its Airbus fleet of aircraft. The carrier earlier this year placed orders for both the Airbus A330neo as well as the Airbus A350. The announcement of these Airbus orders coincided with the cessation of the A380 program. The 40 A330neos will be delivered from 2021, with the Airbus A350s being delivered from 2024.

Will Emirates be the last Airbus A380 operator, or will others keep the aircraft going longer? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!


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Tim Clark, not Cook ( Apple) in the digest !


Um – ‘…the A380 created too many emissions in terms of efficiency’ – try as I might, I just don’t understand what that line means?
Too much pollution (exhaust emission) from the four engines? But how does that tie-in with being ‘efficient’? Omissions perhaps? But what omissions would he mean?
I just don’t get what’s being said here…?


“we were concerned that the engines were producing too much emmissions in terms of the efficiencies we were getting out of them compared to the latest engines that are powering some of the new twins” is the exact quote


That makes more sense! Thanks!


Well, they ‘ve already bought 120 of them. So, Sir Tim needs to be… diplomatic. It’s an interesting story though the A380. A modern post-ETOPS design, concocted to tackle airport congestion and offer plenty of space for lavish premium suites. Both valid rationales even today. Yet operators apparently earn more by selling that marginal seat on the triple 7.

Douglas Strydom

The A380 delivered in 2021 will have at least 25 years in them.
So, the A380 will still be around in the 2040s. The B747-8i too should still be flying in the 2040s.


With 80-90 A380s in the fleet by 2030, I expect these jets to flying until somewhere beyond 2035, maybe late 2030s. Sir Tim said somewhere that 2035 is “at least”.

Maximilien Gilles

The A380 should be given new engines so as to be more fuel efficient and with this it would have the same success as the Boeing 747.

Thony Cesano

You are hundred percent right. I have flown with many aircrafts in my life, it is a pitty that airbus hasn’t come with an appropriate solution not to discontinue its production.
The A380 has surpassed all other aircrafts in travel experience. More space, more leg room, noiselesd, confortable and very steady