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The last ever A380 is delivered to Emirates

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Emirates took delivery of its 123rd Airbus A380 aircraft this week. It will be the final A380 to join the fleet, and the last ever A380 to be manufactured.

Emirates was the first airline to order the A380, signing a contract at the Farnborough Air Show in 2000. It doubled down with a bigger order at the Dubai Air Show in 2001, despite the 9/11 terror attacks having shaken air travel just six weeks previously.

(Despite being the first to sign, the launch customer for the A380 was Singapore Airlines, not Emirates, in October 2007. The first few to be delivered were overweight, requiring compensation to be paid due to their increased fuel burn.)

Final Emirates A380

The A380 will remain the backbone of the Emirates fleet for many years to come. It has recently announced a major retrofit programme which will see 52 of its existing A380 aircraft fitted with Premium Economy cabins and other enhancements.

The Emirates ‘hub and spoke’ model is not easily replicated, however. Whilst British Airways has brought half of its A380 fleet back into service, with the rest likely to follow, other airlines have retired their fleets entirely.

Fuel efficiency is not great, due to the four engines and the lack of composite materials – which have done wonders to lighten the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 – but, when full, the numbers look better. The issue for airlines is how easy it will be to fill such a large aircraft in the next few years. The other benefit of the A380 – boosting capacity at slot constrained airports – is also less of an issue at the moment.

If you’ve never flown an A380, it is worth seeking out. Earlier this week we covered the A380 routes that British Airways is operating next Spring and Summer.

If you never flew on the top deck of a Boeing 747 you have the novelty of sitting higher off the runway, and you will be shocked by how quiet it is. You genuinely cannot tell, during take off, when you have left the runway.

If you want to read more about why the A380 failed – according to its head salesman – you should read this article Rhys wrote last year.


How to earn Emirates Skywards miles from UK credit cards

How to earn Emirates Skywards miles from UK credit cards (January 2022)

Emirates Skywards does not have a UK credit card.  However, you can earn Emirates Skywards miles by converting Membership Rewards points earned from selected UK American Express cardsThese are:

Membership Rewards points convert at 1:1 into Emirates Skywards miles which is an attractive rate.  The cards above all earn 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on your card, which converts to 1 Emirates Skywards mile. The Gold card earns double points (2 per £1) on all flights you charge to it.

Comments (47)

  • Bill says:

    I had a look at a reward flight for IOM – DUB and could not find any availability on any dates. Does anyone know if or when the availability will be added?

  • Lady London says:

    I love the A380. The A350 simply does not compare.

    I feel it’s been cut off in its prime. More than once I thought we were still waiting to take off and we were already airborne.

    The air and space on the A380 can’t be beaten.

    • DeB20 says:

      Completely agree with your view Lady London. The A350 is the inferior sibling compared to the A380.

  • Will says:

    Instead of the absolute shower of **** that is the voyager air tanker contract, if used A380’s become cheap then it would be a great opportunity for U.K. gov to buy them for military personnel transport/VIP use.

    Make them available for lease too to generate additional revenue.

    • John says:

      I believe one problem is they are too heavy to land at some airports. Others may know more than me
      Would like to take an A380 to the Falklands if possible

      • SamG says:

        and too big – they’re quite impractical in many ways. When Norwegian chartered the Hifly frame they had to operate it into JFK in the dead of night so it didn’t cause chaos!

  • Y.in.the.sky says:

    Glad to see the return of the Aer Lingus regional flights, shame we can;t really use them currently…

    I live in Cornwall and not only is it easier to do NQY – DUB and start my onward longhaul from DUB, but it is also significantly cheaper in redemption charges.

    • DevonDiamond says:

      Agree, I’ve just done some research, and the flight times are good for US East coast. Shame their TATL business class seats are hard to come by.

  • Russ says:

    Also Emirates still have their 4,500 points offer per stay via the Emirates Skywards Hotel’s promo. With a bit of effort, for a month and being in the right area, one can easily get the 90,000 points for a UK-DXB return ticket in J for around £700.

    If you’ve never been on one and it’s on your bucket list I wouldn’t bank on there being another reprieve.

    • Blair says:

      Tell me more…… This has passed me by to my shame

    • N says:

      Emirates return is 125k LON-DXB?

      • Rob says:

        No – it’s 90k return, assuming Saver seats are available. If no Saver it will be 125k return. One ways are not available at Saver level so a one way is always 62,500.

      • Blair says:

        London rarely ever has saver availability left when I check so many just assume it is 125K return at cheapest.

  • inizii says:

    “…selected routes between Belfast to the UK”
    What utter nonsense!!

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Well Ofcourse because NI is in the U.K. but perhaps they missed out “the rest of”

      “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland“

    • Rob says:

      Fixed, sorry.

  • Cuchlainn says:

    If Aer Lingus has no UK operating licence why is it continuing to fly from Belfast City to Heathrow three times a day ?

    • Rob says:

      Aer Lingus DOES have a licence, but Emerald Airlines (this is a franchise remember) does not.

    • Rob says:

      Aer Lingus DOES have a licence, but Emerald Airlines (this is a franchise remember) does not.

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