Emirates has retired its first A380, A6–EDB pictured above.
The aircraft entered service in June 2008 and was effectively withdrawn in March during the process of laying up aircraft as demand collapsed. She’s now been seen at Dubai in an all-white livery, but what exactly will happen to her is unknown.
Dubai is aiming to be a major player in the general aerospace industry, and learning to break up a major aircraft type for spares would be useful when a ready market for them exists right on its doorstep.
This is the first of many more to come. Emirates plans leaked a few weeks ago show an A380 fleet reduced to as few as 48 aircraft out of a fleet of 115.
The airline is supposed to take delivery of 8 more by the end of 2021 but that number is likely to be just 3, as it negotiates it’s way out of them. If so it leaves Airbus with a stack of already manufactured materials like wings and tail for aircraft that will never be finished. The least wings left the Broughton factory late last year.