Emirates Doesn’t Plan on Retiring Its Airbus A380s Anytime Soon

Jun 4, 2019

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Production of the Airbus A380 may soon come to an end, but the world’s biggest commercial passenger jet is a long way from retirement.

Airbus plans to end production of the A380 by 2021, with sales never hitting the European jetmaker’s expectations. But Emirates, by far the world’s biggest operator of the jet, expects that its A380s will be flying well into the 2030s.

That’s according to Emirates president Tim Clark, who discussed the jet’s future at the airline during the International Air Transport Association’s annual general meeting in Seoul.

Speaking to the trade publication Air Transport World (ATW), Clark said Emirates would eventually begin to lessen the role of its A380s in favor of smaller widebodies for “ultra-long-haul routes from Dubai that cannot be justified with the 777X or A380.”

Related: The Best Credit Cards for Airline Lounge Access

“There are a lot more cities that we can do in the US, India and Africa with a 250-seater,” Clark said to ATW, referring to orders Emirates has for planes like Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner and Airbus’ A330s and A350s.

Still, Clark noted the A380s will remain part of Emirates’ fleet for some time to come.

The superjumbos continue to provide “enormous market pull” and that their lucrative first- and business-class cabins are in high demand, he said to ATW.

“We will continue to invest in them and fly them into the mid-2030s,” Clark added.

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