The ongoing struggles with the Boeing 777X delivery are raising questions about the status of Emirates’ Airbus A380s, which are destined to be replaced with Boeing's yet-to-be-certified wide-body. How long will Emirates keep Super Jumbos in its fleet?

Emirates, having a quite hefty fleet of Airbus A380s ‒ 117 with one being retired ‒  recently reaffirmed its belief in the double-decker. “The A380 […] will continue in the plan until the mid-2030s,” said Sir Tim Clark, while speaking during CAPA Live on February 10, 2021.

Despite the pandemic and many other airlines backing away from the Airbus A380, Emirates remains a firm believer in the aircraft.

However, the Super Jumbo retirement timetable might be further postponed, as Clark revealed in a conversation with Simple Flying on April 7, 2021, that he expected the giant to fly even longer, given the uncertainty of the Boeing 777X first delivery which may not happen before 2025. 

Additionally to the A380 replacement delays, there are more arguments to keep the type flying longer. Especially since Emirates recently introduced Premium Economy on its double-deckers.

“We are in the process of trying to establish how many of our existing fleet we can put through the conversion,” stated Clark on Emirates’ premium economy. “To be quite honest, we have been absolutely shocked at the demand for the [Premium Economy – ed. note] seats – people have been clamoring to get into them.”

On January 4, 2020, Emirates deploys its latest A380 featuring the new signature Premium Economy Cabin to London Heathrow.

The largest Super Jumbo operator in the world will have to eventually retire the type, as Emirates has seemingly lined up its replacement, with a variety of aircraft, namely the Airbus A350, Boeing 787, and the yet-to-be-certified Triple Seven X.

“With the [Boeing 777 – ed. note] X gradually slipping in to replace the A380s that eventually go and retire, we will have a leaner, very fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly network that will probably be 30% larger in terms of cities served,” commented Clark on the Super Jumbo’s replacement.