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 A converted Airbus A380 will become a hotel in Toulouse: Care to sleep in the cockpit?

Feb. 06, 2022
4 min read
 A converted Airbus A380 will become a hotel in Toulouse: Care to sleep in the cockpit?
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Some people are saying “au revoir” to the Airbus A380, the world’s largest airplane. Others would prefer to say "bonjour.”

Frédéric Deleuze, a former Airbus engineer, is in the latter group. He plans to turn a retired A380 aircraft into a hotel in France, not far from the Toulouse airport (TLS). The hotel is expected open in early 2024.

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(Image courtesy of Groupe Duval and Frédéric Deleuze)

Deleuze wants “to avoid scrapping such a structure that could be reused (and) to make a tribute to this wonderful aircraft, (which is) nearly a religion for all Airbus employees,” he told The Points Guy in an email.

Additionally, he said, “I love challenges and discovering new things continuously. Also, I always had in mind to create my own business.”

Asked whether he is targeting airplane geeks as patrons, Deleuze said, “I target both customer types, passionate or curious people, but also business (travelers) considering the location, in a great economic area, and the comfort proposed by the hotel.

“We hope to finalize the feasibility study (technical and economic) by the end of March,” Deleuze said. The planned site for the Envergure Hotel is north of the Toulouse-Blagnac airport (TLS), near the MEETT exhibition and convention center, which opened in 2020.

Deleuze declined to say what he paid for the aircraft.

The hotel will have 31 rooms including two suites, one in the cockpit and one in the aircraft’s upper level, accessible via the aircraft stairs. The suites are expected to cost around $350 a night. The standard rate for two people will range from around $125 to around $175.

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Related: The best ways to redeem miles to fly on an A380

A 60-seat restaurant, attached to the aircraft, will be “integrated into a building using the metaphor of a control tower,” according to a press release, which described the hotel as “a place dedicated both to the curious, to enthusiasts, but also to tourists and professionals looking for marked originality and comfort.” The restaurant will offer “high-quality bistro cuisine,” and will seek to use local products, reduce waste and be staffed with well-treated employees, the press release said.

(Image courtesy of Groupe Duval and Frédéric Deleuze)

Airbus, which operates a plant in Toulouse, delivered its final A380 in December, after delivering 254 jets to airlines during 14 years of production. Emirates, by far the biggest customer, took about 123 aircraft. Airbus announced in 2019 that it would end production.

Pandemic speculation about the aircraft’s future has been inconsistent.

The A380, which can comfortably seat about 544 passengers in three classes, is instantly recognizable but financially unviable in many markets, because in general passengers prefer more frequent flights, which means smaller aircraft on each flight.

Related: Onboard the first British Airways post-pandemic A380 flight

In the early days of the pandemic, a time of reckoning for the industry, airlines parked their A380s, converted them to freighters or scrapped them. However, as the industry has recovered, about a third of the global fleet has started to fly again. According to Simple Flying, seven airlines led by Emirates have reactivated 79 aircraft from the Airbus A380 family.

(Image courtesy of Groupe Duval and Frédéric Deleuze)

Related: Airlines flying the A380

Featured image by (Image courtesy of Groupe Duval & Frédéric Deleuze)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Why We Chose It

Sometimes it's worth a large investment to reap the benefits of a great credit card. That's exactly the case with the Amex Platinum card. In exchange for the annual fee, you'll unlock access to the Amex Membership Rewards program that let you access airline and hotel transfer partners, along with new lifestyle and travel credits. This card is also incredibly rewarding for travel purchases, helping you rack up a ton of Membership Rewards points for your next award trip.

Pros

  • The current welcome offer on this card is quite lucrative. TPG values it at $1,600.
  • This card comes with a long list of benefits, including access to Centurion Lounges, complimentary elite status with Hilton and Marriott, at least $500 in assorted annual statement credits and so much more. (Enrollment required for select benefits.)
  • The Amex Platinum comes with access to a premium concierge service that can help you with everything from booking hard-to-get reservations to finding destination guides to help you plan out your next getaway.

Cons

  • The high annual fee is only worth it if you’re taking full advantage of the card’s benefits. Seldom travelers may not get enough value to warrant the cost.
  • Outside of the current welcome bonus, you’re only earning higher rewards on specific airfare and hotel purchases, so it’s not a great card for other spending categories.
  • The annual airline fee statement credit can be complicated to take advantage of compared to the broader travel credits offered by competing premium cards.
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. There are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • Get up to $300 back per calendar year on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card. Enrollment required. Learn more.
  • Breeze through security with CLEAR® lanes available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your membership when you use your Card. Learn more.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees