Emirates took delivery of the first of three A380 aircraft to be received by the end of 2020. The Super Jumbo was flown to Dubai partially powered by sustainable aviation fuel.

The A380 MSN A6-EVL is the 116th joining Emirates fleet. For the first time, the airline used a blend of jet fuel and sustainable aviation fuel to power the delivery of the A380. The biofuel used for the flight was produced from used cooking oil in Finland, according to the Gulf carrier. “Sustainability remains very much on our agenda at Emirates,” Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline explained. “We are watching developments in sustainable aviation fuel very closely, and we look forward to a time when it can be produced at scale, and in a cost-competitive manner.”

One of the following two Super Jumbos to be received in 2020 should feature the new Premium Economy cabin, which features rows of 8 seats with a pitch of 38 inches. This new cabin configuration is currently being refitted on a number of A380s and Boeing 777-300ERs. The Boeing 777X, which could one day become Emirates’ new flagship in lieu of the A380, will also be equipped with the new cabin.

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While the relationship is yet to begin, Emirates has become critical towards the yet-to-be certified Boeing 777X, shifting from praise to criticism towards one of its flagship aircraft.
 

While currently 102 out of 114 Emirates Super Jumbos are parked and only four operate regularly, the carrier remains optimistic regarding the role of the A380 in the coming future. “By end of next calendar year or the first quarter of 2022 we’ll have all our A380s flying,” Clark forecasted in November 2020. Emirates’ giants can already be seen again in London, Paris, Cairo, Moscow, and Manchester.

Emirates’ decision to cut its backlog by 39 A380s put an end to the short-lived career of the Super Jumbo on February 14, 2019. At the time, Airbus had announced that the A380 deliveries would cease in 2021. The current crisis affecting the aviation industry could disrupt that timetable.

The delivery of the last three A380s, initially expected to join Emirates’ fleet in 2021, was postponed by a year. Two are now expected in April 2022, and the last in May 2022.

 

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Emirates is the last operator of the giant A380 to still have pending deliveries. The last three of the backlog of eight should reportedly not be delivered before 2022.