Emirates airline is seemingly retiring its first Airbus A380 aircraft, as one double-decker (registered as A6-EDB) is en route to a storage facility in France.
The Airbus A380 departed from Dubai International Airport (DXB) at 3:55 PM local time (UTC +2) and is scheduled to land at Tarbes–Lourdes–Pyrénées Airport (LDE) in France. The airport is home to one of Tarmac Aerosave facilities. The company specializes in aircraft, including the Airbus A380, storage, maintenance and recycling.
The airport is a temporary or permanent home of several Super Jumbos, including former Air France and Singapore Airlines A380s. The company’s other facilities at Teruel Airport (TEV) are home to ex-Lufthansa A380s that were phased out by the German airline in May 2020.
Emirates currently owns 115 Airbus A380 aircraft, including the aforementioned Tarbes-inbound jet. Airbus is set to deliver eight additional freshly produced double-deckers to the Dubai-based airline, completing the production cycle of the Airbus A380. The last-ever produced jet of the type was recently spotted leaving Airbus Toulouse Final Assembly Line (FAL) station 40.
The A6-EDB was first delivered to Emirates airline in October 2008 and was the second A380 to join the airline’s fleet after the A6-EDA. It was withdrawn from service in February 2020, according to planespotters.net data. Flight EK2689 is possibly the aircraft’s last flight, as it is one of the older examples in the carrier’s fleet. While the majority of Emirate’s Super Jumbos are currently grounded, all stored aircraft are kept in the airline’s hub at DXB and Dubai’s second airport, Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC). The location, coupled with the aircraft’s age, suggests that the airframe might be the first one to be retired out of the 115 unit strong fleet.
AeroTime News approached Emirates for comment.