The final Emirates A380 has left Airbus’ Toulouse facility for Hamburg, where it will receive a painting, its interiors, and enter final testing. This will mark the end of the A380 production line, with no more orders left to fulfill. For Emirates, this is the latest A380 to feature its new premium economy product, making it the sixth in the fleet.
The A380 production line is located in Toulouse, France, where all the parts arrive and are fitted onto the aircraft. Once the plane is assembled (from engines to the tail), it undergoes thorough testing to ensure all parts are functioning correctly. Once most checks are complete, the jet makes its way to the Airbus facility in Hamburg, Germany.
It’s at Hamburg that the most recognizable features for passengers are added to the aircraft. The cabins and seats, from rows of economy to the first class suites, are installed all by technicians on the ground.
Once the seats and cabin interiors are in place, the plane undergoes painting to wear its final livery. In this case, the plane will receive Emirates’ signature golden letters and the red stripe along the side. Considering this is its last A380, we could expect a special livery too.
Emirates first announced its plans for premium economy in May 2018. Two-and-a-half years later, the first A380 with the product was delivered to the airline in December 2020. Despite the delays, the cabin is undoubtedly stunning. With 56 seats in 2-4-2, the cabin is located in the front of the lower deck of the A380.
The seats themselves offer 40 inches of pitch and are 19.5 inches wide, along with a deployable footrest. Notably, the seats recline 8 inches into a cradle position to offer added comfort while sleeping. The bright gold and wood design offers an airy feeling to the cabin and stands out in a distinct Emirates fashion.
The premium economy has found early success with the airline, with President Sir Tim Clark saying that he was “shocked” by the demand. The next five A380s lined up for delivery will also feature premium economy, making it more frequent across the network.
The final one
Registered F-WWSH/A6-EVS, MSN 272 is the final Airbus A380 to roll off the production line at Toulouse. The flight to Hamburg marks the closure of the line and begins the process of converting it into one for the A321 instead.
Emirates currently has five A380s remaining for delivery, which will be staggered over the next year. Two A380s will arrive this year, while the final three will reach Emirates by May 2022, completing the mega order.
The end of the A380’s production is undoubtedly a blow to fans around the world. However, we can all take solace in the fact that the A380 will be in the skies for another decade.