Cars / Jets

The Last Airbus A380 Has Been Delivered

31 years after its first announcement, the last A380 has been delivered by Airbus, marking the end of an era for the jumbo jet.

Dec 23, 2021 | By Sarah Ridzwan
the last a380
Image: Airbus

Airline manufacturer Airbus has delivered its last A380. The hand-off happened on Thursday in Hamburg, according to a press release, and the last of the double-decker jumbo jet was delivered to Emirates. This event marks an end to the 15-year run of the aeroplane.

The A380 was first announced in 1990 and made its debut in 2007. It was conceptualised to surpass Boeing’s 747 but unfortunately did not succeed. However, it is an impressive aircraft in its own right.

The plane has two full decks and normally seats 525 passengers, but can hold up to a maximum of 868 passengers — compared to the 747 that can only accommodate 467 passengers — making it the largest commercial plane built. Its maximum flying range is 8,000 nautical miles.

a380 interior
Image: Airbus

A total of 251 A380s have been built over the last decade and a half, and nearly half of those were purchased by Emirates. The A380 has been instrumental in cementing Emirates as one of the best airlines in the world. However, the A380’s days have been numbered since production ceased in 2019 due to disappointing demand. Other airlines such as British Airways and Singapore Airlines still operate the jumbo jet in their fleets.

airbus a380
Image: Unsplash/Daniel Eledut

The disappointment could be attributed to how costly to run, the A380 is usually only viable on long-distance routes. It’s also less environmentally friendly than more modern, smaller aircraft models. The pandemic also had a negative impact on the jet, and the aviation industry as a whole, and has led to most of the world’s A380 fleet being grounded. Lufthansa and AirFrance have both retired their A380s.

Though, some airlines seem to acknowledge the A380’s popularity and the aircraft is slowly being introduced to some carriers’ schedules. Singapore Airlines’s global public affairs head, Siva Govindasamy said: “Some people just book the A380 specifically to fly on it.”

Another iconic jet making its comeback is the Playboy Big Bunny jet. The private jet is taking to the skies again after landing for the last time in 1975 when Hugh Hefner sold the iconic airliner to Aeromexico. The new iteration of Big Bunny has a glossy black exterior stamped with the iconic rabbit head and the original N950PB registration number on the tail. The new Big Bunny will return to its former duty of transporting artists, influencers, and thought leaders around the world.

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