Emirates has made the first full retirement of an A380 from its fleet, almost 12 years to the day after the aircraft entered service “We can confirm that the Emirates A380 registered A6-EDB has been retired,” an Emirates spokesperson told AIN Sunday.
Flightradar24 information showed the aircraft’s presumed final flight touched down at Tarbes Airport in Southern France at 7:55 p.m. local time on October 27.
As of March 31, Emirates had 115 A380s in the fleet, with a further eight slated for delivery. In May, as Airbus ceased production of the aircraft, Reuters reported that Emirates was looking to cancel five of the remaining eight orders. As of September 30, Airbus numbers showed that Emirates had not taken delivery of any of the other three A380s, with all eight still on order.
On a visit to Al Maktoum International Airport in September, AIN spotted around 25 A380s parked on the tarmac at the airport, some18 adjacent to the VIP Terminal, and a further seven located by the airport's main runway.
Last year, Emirates withdrew two A380s—A6-EEH and A6-EEK—from the fleet, apparently for spares.
“While relatively young at six to seven years old each, the two A380s may have been selected for retirement based on where they are in their maintenance schedule,” Mike Stengel, senior associate at Michigan-based AeroDynamic Advisory, told AIN last year. “Airframe heavy checks on the A380 take place every six years, so Emirates may have removed them from service to avoid the $3 million cost of the event. Moreover, engine overhauls cost $7 million per engine, or $28 million total per aircraft, and will likely become increasingly difficult to support due to industry-wide shortages in parts and shop capacity.”
According to theeksource.com, A6-EDB joined the Emirates fleet on 23 October 2008, as the second A380 to do so.