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Last-ever A380 departs Airbus' Toulouse factory

March 19, 2021
3 min read
Last-ever A380 departs Airbus' Toulouse factory
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The last-ever produced A380 superjumbo has left Toulouse.

On Wednesday, the last A380 that Airbus will assemble departed from the plane manufacturer's home in Toulouse (TLS). The aircraft, which has the test registration F-WWSH, departed for Hamburg (HAM), where it will be painted before delivery to Emirates.

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When Emirates takes delivery of the aircraft, it will fly under with the registration A6-EVS.

Emirates is the world's largest operator of the Airbus A380 aircraft. Since the inception of the A380 and its entry to service in 2007, Emirates had ordered 123 of the aircraft. It has 118 of the superjumbos in its fleet now and is still expecting to take delivery of the final five A380s — including the final A380 ever produced.

In February 2019, just months after celebrating the A380's 10th anniversary, Airbus announced that "given the lack of order backlog with other airlines, Airbus will cease deliveries of the A380 in 2021."

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Rather than ordering more of the superjumbo, Emirates — as well as other carriers, such as British Airways — decided against saving the program by placing orders for alternative aircraft.

Related: Too big to succeed: Why the Airbus A380 is dead

Before the coronavirus pandemic, the fate of the superjumbo looked doomed. But the pandemic has hit that point home even harder. At one point in 2020, all A380s around the world except one were grounded. As airlines struggled to cope with the reduced passenger demand, superjumbos like the A380 and Boeing 747 largely remained grounded, with their operating expenses far more than what they would make in revenue from seats sold.

Several airlines have said that they won't bring their A380s out of storage. Air France and Thai Airways, for example, have retired all of their A380s.

Related: Will the Airbus A380 fly again once travel resumes?

However, some airlines have said they remain committed to the A380. British Airways CEO Sean Doyle said this week that the airline's A380s will return to service. Of course, as it's yet to take delivery of its final five A380s, Emirates also remains committed to the double-decker for now.

Featured image by AFP via Getty Images
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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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
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Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

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  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023