On Thursday, August 8th, the crew of an Emirates Airbus A380-800 advised Amsterdam’s Air Traffic Control that they would need to stop on the runway due to the possibility of flat tires. In fact, the crew had been told about tire damage as they departed Dubai. The aircraft landed safely but emergency services confirmed both nose tires were deflated.
Despite the appearance of emergency services, the landing took place without incident and there was no debris on the runway. The aircraft involved remained on the ground for approximately six hours, and then departed for its return flight to Dubai.
The aircraft had registration A6-EOY and was performing flight EK-149 from Dubai (United Arab Emirates) to Amsterdam Schiphol (Netherlands). With Emirates taking delivery in April of 2016, the aircraft is only 3.7 years old.
Second incident in a month
This is the second time just this week that we’ve heard of an incident involving a large aircraft with deflated tires. On Friday we reported that a KLM Boeing 747 made an emergency landing in Frankfurt when the aircraft’s sensors notified the crew of low tire pressure.
While we only heard about the incident on Friday, the incident took place on July 30th. The crew was initially going to return to Amsterdam but as pressure continued to drop, the decision was made to land at Frankfurt.
Following the incident, the aircraft went on to fly the stranded passengers to Nairobi a day later (31st of July) departing at 15:23, and landing in Nairobi at 23:54. KLM’s regular scheduled service also operated to Nairobi on the 31st of July. This flight departed at 14:11, arriving at 22:47.
Emirates A380 retirement plans
Emirates is the world’s largest operator of the Airbus A380. However, the airline is planning for the retirement of their A380 fleet in the 2030s. According to Wikipedia, the Gulf carrier has 112 of the aircraft in service and a further 11 on order. Airfleets indicates that 2 are on order with known MSNs. This means that its oldest A380s will be 20-25 years old at retirement while their newest will be retiring closer to 15 years old.
“We will continue to invest in them (the A380s) and fly them into the mid-2030s.”
Earlier this year Emirates drew a line under its last A380 order by cutting its final delivery by 39 aircraft. Heavily dependent on Emirates to continue the A380 program, Airbus subsequently had to announce that they would cease producing the A380.
As we reported in February, Emirates will be shaking up its fleet as the A380 is phased out. The airline has placed a fairly serious order for new aircraft. In total, 70 new Airbus aircraft have been ordered which consist of 40 new A330-900s and 30 A350-900 aircraft. The list price of this order amounts to US$ 21.4 billion and marks a huge change in the Emirates fleet strategy.
Furthermore, Emirates will reportedly keep their existing order of Boeing 787 jets.
We reached out to Emirates for comment on the incident but did not receive a response at the time of publishing this article.