As Airbus wraps up production, Emirates has charted out the delivery schedule for the last A380s. After taking delivery of three A380s this month, the airline will take two in 2021, and the final three in 2022. The last A380 will reach Emirates in May 2022, according to President Sir Tim Clark.
In an interview with Andreas Spaeth for AirlineRatings, Emirates President Sir Tim Clark spoke about his airline’s plans for the A380. With five A380s currently awaiting delivery, Emirates is trying to space out deliveries over the next two years.
Two A380s will arrive in 2021, though Sir Tim Clark did not specify which months they would arrive in. Considering the current situation, Emirates might be trying to keep dates fluid depending on the situation. The last three planes will join the fleet in 2022, with two planes arriving in April and the final A380 arriving in May.
The new timetable comes after Emirates took delivery of three A380s in December alone. The most recent delivery was just yesterday and feature Emirates’ first premium economy, carrying the registration A6-EVN.
The A380 will bounce back
Sir Clark has long been confident that all of the carrier’s 118 A380s will return to service by 2022. He explained his confidence in the interview with AirlineRatings, saying,
“The difference this time is, there won’t be that many competitors left with wide-body equipment to do what we can do. A lot of them are getting rid of their equipment, they want to pull off routes that are marginal, and as that happens, the hub and spoke system strengthens, not the other way round. If we can activate the A380 fleet, which we have to live with, we got no choice, but I think we’ll really have an advantage when we get this Premium Economy cabin going.”
Sir Clark also notes the upcoming premium economy cabin will have on the A380 fleet in the coming years. While we are yet to see the new cabin in all its glory, we know some key details. There will be eight seats per row, likely in a 2-4-2 configuration, and features 38 inches of pitch and eight inches of recline. The seat will be made by Recaro but has been heavily modified for Emirates.
While the recent UK travel ban has affected airline schedules globally once again, the rollout of a COVID-19 vaccine does bring hope. Emirates began planning for a vaccine rollout in October, with Dubai World Central being discussed as a hub for vaccine transport. Last week, Emirates carried its first shipment of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines from Brussels to Dubai, with more shipments likely coming soon.
The rollout of a vaccine will eventually allow for non-essential travel to slowly return. While 2019 levels are far away, 2021 could be the first step in the right direction for airlines globally following a tough year.
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