They’ve been hinting at it for a while, but now it seems the Etihad A380’s largely regarded as the best fitted out interiors that graced the two decker, will never fly again. The word ‘unlikely’ leaves a tiny crack in the door to fly them again, but on a scale of 1-100 with 100 being not a chance, its around 99.
The staggering number of A380’s that have gone out of service permanently is almost unbelievable. So far, 14 Lufthansa, 10 Air France, 2 Thai, 10 Qatar, 1 High Fly, 10 Etihad are the minimum. Emirates is likely to shelve a few more of its older ones, Malaysia still struggles with what to do with its six, and they sit waiting for the airline to finalise its future. Singapore has already disposed of its older aircraft, British Airways seems to see a place for its 12 in the medium-long term, and Qantas has said it expects at least some to return to service. One Qantas A380 literally went from a full interior refit in Germany, straight to storage last year and hasn’t carried a single passenger since.
The Etihad A380’s had the most upmarket first class services ever offered, “The Residence”, with genuine private suites staffed by a fully trained butler. It could cost as much as $30,000 for a trip to New York.
Last A380 begins testing…
The final A380 which is destined fro Emirates has started engine testing and the factory facilities at Toulouse and Hamburg have begun to strip out the equipment and ready for conversion to A321 production, likely to take about two years.
Emirates has postponed taking delivery of its last A380’s until as late as early 2023, even though they’re ready and waiting. ANA has still to take delivery of one more, due to take place in November-December this year.