Superjumbo Death: Airbus Has Just 9 A380 Orders Left To Fulfil

On Saturday, an Airbus A380 made the journey from Hamburg to Dubai marking yet another superjumbo delivery to the Middle East carrier. This means that the A380 order book is now down to single figures. According to FlightRadar, there are now only nine A380s left to be delivered.

Emirates
Emirates has just eight A380s left for delivery. Photo: Pixabay

Nine left for delivery

Of the nine A380s that still need to be delivered, eight of these are for Emirates while one is for Japanese airline ANA (All Nippon Airways). On the other end of things, Air France quietly retired the first of its Airbus A380s earlier this month. In fact, its entire fleet of 11 A380 aircraft will be retired by the end of 2022.

ANA Airbus A380
ANA’s inaugural A380 flight took place on May 24th, 2019. Photo: Airbus

Japanese carrier ANA was one of the last airlines to order the A380. The three A380s that the airline ordered have been painted in a special livery called the “Flying Honu” and are intended to serve passengers flying between Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT) and Honolulu Hawaii (HNL).

Just over 10 years old, the first retired A380 has already made its way to the scrap heap. The entire scrapping process took 11 months to complete. The ‘death’ of one extends the life of the others as 90% of the aircraft components will be recycled into existing A380s (as spare parts) or for new aircraft construction.

The second-hand market

HiFly A380
HiFly’s A380 has flown to smaller destinations that previously haven’t seen an A380. Photo: HiFly

In an October publication Airbus said the following about the future of the A380:

“The A380 will continue flying, with Airbus support, for decades to come…The A380 with its unique capacity offers an unbeatable economic value proposition to operators on dense routes (ex. Hajj ops), especially out of congested airports.”

We spoke to Airbus about second-hand market viability and this is what they had to say to Simple Flying:

  • Airbus is fully engaged in A380 cabin refurbishing with several of our customers who are reinvesting millions of euros in their planes to upgrade their cabin and passenger comfort. ( Qantas, SIA )
  • Airbus supports customers interested in second-hand A380s and one aircraft is already operated by the Wet lease Company HiFly.
  • We support our 15 A380 operators in their daily operations.
  •  A380s can be leased/acquired at attractive rates offering great opportunities for new entrants with new business models. 

In fact, HiFly could be one of the biggest players in the A380 second-hand market. The wet-lease airline could potentially find additional second-hand A380s for a low price as the market begins to grow: Qatar Airways, Emirates, and Lufthansa are looking to dump their older A380s.

Conclusion

For many aviation enthusiasts, it’s sad that this program is coming to an end. However, the aircraft should be flying for quite a few more years – just with fewer and fewer airlines.

The A380 has certainly gained a loyal following – which is evident in the comments section of our articles. Other readers say it will never compare to the Boeing 747.

With the final A380 scheduled for delivery in 2021, when do you think the very last A380 flight will be? Do you think the aircraft could fly passengers past 2040? Let us know in the comments!

104 Shares: