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.
It appears that the delivery of the last three Emirates A380s could be postponed by a year, according to aviation journalist Andreas Spaeth. Two are now expected in April 2022, and the last in May 2022
BREAKING @Emirates will get their last three #A380 delivered only in 2022, two in April, last in May 2022. 3 are due still in December this year, among them first with new Premium Economy cabin on Dec. 20. Currently only about four out of 114 flying on a rotating base #avgeek pic.twitter.com/eDyLOMa132
— Andreas Spaeth (@SpaethFlies) December 2, 2020
The new Premium Economy cabin, to be featured on the next A380 to be received, will feature rows of 8 seats with a pitch of 38 inches. A number of A380s and Boeing 777-300ERs are being refitted with the new Premium class, which should also come as standard in future A350s and 787 Dreamliners. The Boeing 777X, which could one day become Emirates’ new flagship in lieu of the A380, will also be equipped with the new cabin.
On June 5, 2020, the nose part of the middle section of the last Airbus A380 to be assembled left the factory of Montoir-de-Bretagne, in western France, for the outskirts of Toulouse where the final assembly will take place.
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,” Tim Clark, President of Emirates said in an interview with Bloomberg on November 25, 2020. Emirates’ giants can already be seen again in London, Paris, Cairo, Moscow and Manchester.